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Don’t Save Anything

The Uncollected Writings of James Salter

List Price: $26.00

November 14, 2017 | Hardcover | 6 x 9, 320 pages | ISBN 9781619029361
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“The collection offers something for every taste, along with a fascinating mosaic-like view of Salter’s unfailingly interesting life.” —Harper’s Bazaar

One of the greatest writers of American sentences in our literary history, James Salter’s acute and glimmering portrayals of characters are built with a restrained and poetic style. The author of several memorable works of fiction—including Dusk and Other Stories, which won the PEN/Faulkner Award—he is also celebrated for his memoir Burning the Days and many nonfiction essays.

In her preface, Kay Eldredge Salter writes, “Don’t Save Anything is a volume of the best of Jim’s nonfiction—articles published but never collected in one place until now. Though those many boxes were overflowing with papers, in the end it’s not really a matter of quantity. These pieces reveal some of the breadth and depth of Jim’s endless interest in the world and the people in it . . . One of the great pleasures in writing nonfiction is the writer’s feeling of exploration, of learning about things he doesn’t know, of finding out by reading and observing and asking questions, and then writing it down. That’s what you’ll find here.”

This collection gathers Salter’s thoughts on writing and profiles of important writers, observations of the changing American military life, evocations of Aspen winters, musings on mountain climbing and skiing, and tales of travels to Europe that first appeared in The New YorkerEsquirePeopleCondé Nast Traveler, the Aspen Times, among other publications.

James Salter was a novelist, short story writer, screenwriter, and essayist. Born in 1925, Salter grew up in New York City and was a career officer and Air Force pilot until his mid-thirties, when the success of his first novel The Hunters led to a fulltime writing career. Salter’s potent, lyrical prose has earned him acclaim from critics, readers, and fellow novelists. He was the recipient of a PEN/Faulkner Award and the PEN/Malamud Award, among others. His novel A Sport and a Pastime was hailed by the New York Times as “nearly perfect as any American fiction.” His other books include Cassada and Light Years. He died on June 19, 2015, at ninety years old.

Praise

Praise for Don’t Save Anything

“The collection offers something for every taste, along with a fascinating mosaic-like view of Salter’s unfailingly interesting life.” —Harper’s Bazaar, 1 of 8 New Books You Need to Read in November

“Enlightening . . . These essays offer a fascinating window into the experiences of Salter’s generation, and the wars, presidents, and writers who helped to shape his worldview. Not only for Salter’s fans, Don’t Save Anything is for anyone interested in the varied topics he discusses and American literature.” —Booklist

“The late Salter was commonly regarded as a writer’s writer, and this superb collection shows why . . . Crisp and razor sharp, Salter’s work peels away illusions to reveal the matter-of-fact nuances of his and our lives.” —Publishers Weekly

“These magazine pieces reflect the author’s wide range of experience and interests as well as his prose mastery . . . Taken together, these pieces attest to a true life, a life well-lived and well-written.” —Kirkus Reviews

“I remember hearing Salter read his heartbreaking story ‘Last Night’ to a captivated audience in Newark, N.J., at Rutgers University—it was a moment of shared intimacy that I’ve rarely experienced at a reading. Salter had a presence both on and off the page. Don’t Save Anything collects Salter’s previously uncollected nonfiction; essays that appeared in The New Yorker, Esquire, People, and elsewhere. The book’s title comes from a line from one of Salter’s final interviews: ‘You try to put everything you have in a book. That is, don’t save anything for the next one.'” —The Millions

“No writer in the last half-century wrote a tighter sentence than James Salter.” —Head Butler

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