Irwin Shaw Short Stories

Irwin Shaw Short Stories
Irwin Shaw Short Stories

Irwin Shaw was an American writer known for the novels The Young Lions and Rich Man, Poor Man. He was also a playwright and highly-regarded short story writer. I don’t think there’s a complete collection available of his short fiction, but Short Stories: Five Decades, linked to below, is a huge collection with 63 selections. I hope you find a great story here.

“Borough of Cemeteries”

A group of cab drivers gather at Lammanawitz’s Bar and Grill for a drink before going home. Elias tries to get a beer on credit or get one from his friends. He complains about how long he works and how little he makes. The men talk about how good things were in 1928 during the boom time.

This story can be read in the sample of Short Stories: Five Decades (25% in).

“Main Currents of American Thought”

Andrew finishes up his radio script of Dusty Blades, with one of his recurring characters. He thinks of money in terms of how many words he has to write. He has lots of bills.

This story can also be read in the above preview of Short Stories: Five Decades (33% in)

“Second Mortgage”

When the doorbell rings, a young man’s father doesn’t want him to answer the door. It could be a summons or a bill-collector. They hound him constantly as the family has no money. The son wants to answer the door because it’s Sunday, so it probably won’t be official business. He can also see it’s a little old lady.

This story can also be read in the above preview of Short Stories: Five Decades (44% in)

“The Eighty-Yard Run”

Christian Darling thinks about the time he ran for eighty yards in football practice at Midwestern University. He also thinks back on his college sweetheart, Louise, whom he married. He thinks about the wrong turns his life has taken.

This story is also in the preview of Short Stories: Five Decades (10% in)

“Peter Two”

Peter, thirteen-years-old, watches action programs on T.V. where the hero always overcomes danger no matter what the odds. He thinks back on an incident from school when he defended a weaker student. Peter feels he will become a hero whom others can turn to for help.

“Act of Faith”

WWII is over. Sergeant Seeger and his friends, both privates, are getting together what money they can for a weekend trip to Paris. Seeger was awarded a Purple Heart, and has saved the lives of his friends. They’re still short on funds. Luger pistols are selling at high prices, and Seeger has one.

“Return to Kansas City”

While Eddie sleeps Arline cries near his bed and wakes him up. Eddie is a boxer. Arline feels ignored because he spends his time training and sleeping. They are in New York; she wants to visit her family and friends in Kansas City.

“Mixed Doubles”

Jane and Stewart Collins, six years married, play tennis against Mr. Croker and Eleanor Burns. Jane is sensibly dressed and a bit self-conscious because Eleanor is young and pretty. Stewart is elegant and graceful, while Mr. Croker is round and turns purplish during play. The game goes well for Jane and Stewart for a while.

“Walking Wounded”

Peter is stationed in North Africa during World War II. He’s been deemed unfit to fight and is now assigned to a desk job. He was briefly reunited with his wife in London after fighting at The Battle of Dunkirk. He felt guilty about cheating on her while he was on leave and he’s determined to stay faithful from now on. After three years in North Africa, he’s at a low point.

“The Girls in Their Summer Dresses”

Michael and Frances are a married couple walking in Manhattan. Frances notices that Michael looks at a lot of women as they walk. She points it out to him and they talk about it.

Read “The Girls in Their Summer Dresses”

I’ll keep adding Irwin Shaw short stories as I find more.