The Long-Distance Runner Criticism

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Critics have noted the small size of Grace Paley's oeuvre, but her literary reputation is significant, nonetheless. When The Collected Stories appeared in 1994, it was nominated for a National Book Award, and the volume drew widespread affirmation of Paley's fiction. Pointing to its central issue, Cynthia Tompkins in her World Literature Today review stated that the collection "encapsulates the moral dilemmas" raised by the question: "How are we to live our lives?" Like other critics, Tompkins also pointed out Paley's "'ear' for idioms and speech patterns," which enhances her handling of characterization and depiction of social interaction between members of different groups. Moreover, in the fiction since the 1970s, Tompkins pointed out that "Paley's texts illustrate the feminist dictum: the personal is the political." These various elements in the work—thematic issues, characterization, and social interaction—are all dramatized in "The Long-Distance Runner," the story of...

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This section contains 380 words
(approx. 1 page at 400 words per page)
Buy The Long-Distance Runner Study Guide
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The Long-Distance Runner from Gale. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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