Books: Secular Grace

SHORT STORIES: FIVE DECADES by Irwin Shaw Delacorte; 756 pages; $14.95

In the introduction to his collected stories John Cheever recalls a crusty, idiosyncratic editor at The New Yorker. But, adds the author, "since the men he encouraged ranged as widely as Irwin Shaw and Vladimir Nabokov, he seems to have done more good than anything else." Cheever may be the only person in the world who would mention these writers in the same sentence. There are many who would not mention Shaw at all. Alfred Kazin's massive study of American fiction, On...

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