first Gilded Age produced Mark Twain, Henry James, Willa Cather, and a flock of
other notables. Will our current climate of economic imbalance, ruinous
vanity, joyous nihilism, and wild-eyed millennialism produce a similar wealth
of literary talent? Only posterity can say for sure. But this volume
of stories from such luminaries as Junot Diaz, Bobbie Ann Mason, and Walter
Mosley sets the bar admirably high.
June 19: On this day in 1816, the Shelleys, Lord Byron, and entourage gathered at the Villa Diodati on Lake Geneva to tell the ghost stories that would trigger Frankenstein. This most legendary of storm-tossed evenings inspired…