John Dugdale

Lost Dirty Realist

Trilobites & Other Stories


Vintage Classics 178pp £8.99 order from our bookshop

The eighth edition of Granta, the ‘Dirty Realism’ issue in 1983, celebrated ‘a generation of American authors who write about the belly-side of contemporary life … and have single-handedly revitalised the short story’. Breece Pancake’s first collection appeared in the same year. Joyce Carol Oates hailed ‘a young writer of such extraordinary gifts that one is tempted to compare his debut to Hemingway’s’. Yet while Pancake’s depictions of hardscrabble rural lives indisputably qualified as dirty realism, he was unable to capitalise on the surrounding excitement about this new wave of fiction, as four years previously he had taken his own life, aged twenty-six. He had published six stories in his lifetime, and another six were added to make up the posthumous volume. Now, thirty-one years later, it has been reissued.

Follow Literary Review on Twitter

  • Last Tweets

    • What a charming, candid blogpost from one of our dear contributing editors. ,
    • RT : The first guess from one of my 1st graders was “death” and such an awed, somber, reflective hush fell over the clas… ,
    • Merry Christmas from Literary Review! Hope your stockings were laden with books, and the tree bending under the weight of further books....,
    • Last minute Christmas gift required? We're offering discounts on all our subscriptions (20% no less!) with the cod… ,
    • In this issue's 'Silenced Voices', Lucy Popescu writes of Thailand's restrictive lese-majesty laws and their latest… ,
    • "Gunn was a disciple of the American formalist Yvor Winters, but Winters’s poetry could never give off such a scent… ,
    • Christmas gift hunting? Why not give the gift of being even better read? We're offering discounts on all our subscr… ,