When I knew him, Barthelme was in his early forties. He died in 1989, at the age of 58. “The School,” which appeared first in the 1976 collection, Amateurs, is one of Barthelme’s more accessible stories. To describe it is to sound ridiculous: a very funny story about death and the negation of meaning, and the only story ever written, by anyone, in which a resurrected gerbil is the bringer of hope. - Steven Polansky, Author of Dating Miss Universe: Nine Stories
About the Author: Donald Barthelme published seventeen books, including four novels and a prize-winning children's book. He was a longtime contributor to The New Yorker, winner of the National Book Award, a director of PEN and the Authors Guild, and a member of the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters. He died in July of 1989.
About the Guest Editor: Steven Polansky was born in New York City. He was educated at Wesleyan, Hollins, and Princeton. He has taught at St. Olaf College, Macalester, and the University of Minnesota. His short fiction has appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, Glimmer Train, Best American Short Stories, New England Review, and Minnesota Monthly. He has published two books: The Bradbury Report, a novel, and a book of short stories, Dating Miss Universe, which won the Sandstone Prize and the Minnesota Book Award. He has a wife, two sons, and a daughter. He lives in Wisconsin.
About the Publisher: Electric Literature is an independent publisher amplifying the power of storytelling through digital innovation. Electric Literature’s weekly fiction magazine, Recommended Reading, invites established authors, indie presses, and literary magazines to recommended great fiction. Once a month we feature our own recommendation of original, previously unpublished fiction.