James Purdy: Children Is All

(1213 words)
  • Martin Kich

This collection includes ten short stories and two plays. For the most part, these works focus on very ordinary characters confronting emotional crises or unexpected revelations. The psychological resources that they can bring to the situations they face are, however, so limited that they can respond only eccentrically or obliquely. In tone, the stories range from the unsettling to the absurdly pathetic to the lightly comic.

“Daddy Wolf” is a variation on Nathanael West's Miss Lonelyhearts. Daddy Wolf is a radio version of the advice columnist, but, instead of giving us the story from the point of view of the person giving the advice, Purdy presents his story from the point of view of the person seeking it. The main …

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Kich, Martin. "Children Is All". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 June 2003
[http://www.litencyc.com/php/sworks.php?rec=true&UID=6047, accessed 04 July 2015.]