Totally Callaghan: The Morley Callaghan short stories

Totally Morley Callaghan logoI’m currently on a quest to devour all that has been published by Canadian writer, Morley Callaghan. A writer who was greatly admired by both Hemingway and Scott Fitzgerald, Callaghan seems to have been largely forgotten about these days (in the UK at least), aside from being the writer who boxed with Hemingway in Paris during the summer of 1929. This a real shame because Callaghan is an exquisite writer. Of his short fiction the New York Times once remarked “if there is a better short story writer in the world, we don’t know where he is,” which is high praise indeed.

In the face of such glowing reverence one would be a fool to ignore Morley Callaghan, and I consider it my duty to convince you of this as I work my way through his short fiction. You can follow my progress best on this page, where I have laid out Callaghan’s published short stories in chronological order.

And while these ninety seven stories represent the oeuvre of Callaghan’s short fiction output, it does not cover all of the short stories published by this writer. Speaking in Volume 1 of ‘The Complete Stories’, editor Barry Callaghan (son of Morley), explains that he wished to exclude stories which his father abhorred, only including those which his father “would have been prepared to put in the hands of readers at large and other writers.” A strange decision for the editor to make perhaps given that this is marketed as a ‘complete collection’. Nevertheless, as Barry Callaghan states, scholarly readers can still seek out the missing stories, leaving this collection of 97 ‘more complete than Callaghan would have cared for’. Of course, I have every intention of seeking out these missing short stories, and also presenting them here.

As briefly mentioned above, I list these stories in chronological order, which opposes the original order chosen by the editor of the Complete Stories, who sets out the stories in a more random fashion, just as his father did with his story collections in 1959 (Morley Callaghan’s Stories) and in 1985 (The Lost and Found Stories of Morley Callaghan). The reason? Callaghan stated that presenting in random order stemmed from his belief that a good story stood alone as a good story, regardless of the time in which he wrote it. Fair enough, but I want to follow the development of Callaghan’s short fiction writing over time, and so I’ve sorted the stories into a more sequential order, and this is the order in which I intend to read them.

Hopefully you’ll find the time and inclination to track my progress and read a few of the mini reviews of the stories when I post them. My hope is that you will be as equally inspired to sample the fruits of this true master of the short form, because as I said at the outset this is a writer who is woefully ignored and really shouldn’t be. If you do decide to dip in then please drop me a line. It would be lovely to hear your thoughts.

First publishedTitleDate ReadRatingReview
1925-26 (This Quarter)A Girl With Ambition
Spring, 1927 (This Quarter)A Wedding Dress
June, 1927 (transition)Last Spring They Came Over
1927, (The American Caravan)Amuck in the Bush
March, 1928 (transition)A Country Passion
Spring, 1928 (The Exile)Ancient Lineage
July 1928 (Scribner’s Magazine)A Regret for Youth
July, 1928 (Scribner’s Magazine)A Predicament
August, 1928 (Scribner’s Magazine)Soldier Harmon
November, 1928 (The New Yorker)An Escapade11-03-133.5/5[afterthoughts]
1928 (The Second American Caravan)An Autumn Penitent
Jan-March, 1929 (Scribner’s Magazine)In His Own Country
October, 1929 (This Quarter)Now That April's Here
December, 1929 (The New Yorker)The Faithful Wife 16-04-133.5/5[afterthoughts]
1929 (A Native Argosy)A Cocky Young Man
1929 (A Native Argosy)A Princely Affair
1929 (A Native Argosy)Settling Down
March, 1930 (The Canadian Magazine)The Novice
August, 1930 (Scribner’s Magazine)Lady in a Green Dress
August, 1930 (The New Yorker)The Chiseler
September, 1930 (The New Yorker)The Young Priest
December, 1930 (Esquire)The Two Brothers
May 02, 1931 (The New Yorker)Lunch Counter
May 23, 1931 (The New Yorker)Younger Brother
October 31, 1931 (The New Yorker)The Red Hat
December, 1931 (The New Yorker)Absolution
1931 (Black Manikan Press)No Man's Meat
April, 1932 (The New Yorker)Silk Stockings
July, 1932 (Atlantic Monthly)A Sick Call
August, 1932 (Scribner’s Magazine)Sister Bernadette
August 20, 1932 (The New Yorker)Day by Day
October, 1932 (Scribner’s Magazine)Poolroom
December, 1932 (Common Sense)Guilty Woman
December, 1932 (The North American Review)Rocking Chair
January, 1933 (Household Magazine)Emily
March 04, 1933 (The New Yorker)Ellen
May, 1933 (The Atlantic)Old Quarrel
September, 1933 (Harper’s Bazaar)Mr and Mrs Fairbanks
September, 1933 (The New Yorker)The Bride
Autumn, 1933 (Esquire)Let Me Promise You
November, 1933 (Scribner’s Magzine)A Seperation
December 09, 1933 (The New Yorker)Rejected One
February 10, 1934 (The New Yorker)Timothy Harshaw's Flute
April 14, 1934 (The New Yorker)One Spring Night
June, 1934 (Harper’s Bazaar)Father and Son
June, 1934 (Story)She's Nothing to Me
July 07, 1934 (The New Yorker)The Snob
July, 1934 (Harper’s Bazaar)Three Lovers
September, 1934 (Esquire)The Runaway
September 22, 1934 (The New Yorker)The Duel
April, 1935 (Esquire)Possession
May, 1935 (Harper’s Bazaar)The Blue Kimono
June 08, 1935 (The New Yorker)All the Years of Her Life
June, 1935 (Harper’s Bazaar)The Homing Pigeon
June, 1935 (Story)Rigmarole
November 30, 1935 (The New Yorker)The Shining Red Apple
February, 1936 (Redbook)It Must Be Different
June, 1936 (The New Yorker)The Voyage Out
August, 1936 (Harper’s Bazaar)The Consuming Fire
September 12, 1936 (The New Yorker)Their Mother's Purse
September, 1936 (Redbook)Watching and Waiting
September 1936 (Scribner’s Magazine)An Enemy of the People
October, 1936 (Redbook)A Pair of Long Pants
October, 1936 (John O’London’s Weekly)The Fiddler on Twenty-Third Street
March, 1937 (Maclean’s)This Man, My Father
March, 1937 (Esquire)Rendezvous
September, 1937 (Harper’s BazaarA Little Beaded Bag
October, 1937 (Esquire)The Cheat's Remorse
December, 1937 (Esquire)A Boy Grows Older
December, 1937 (Harper’s Bazaar)A Very Merry Christmas
Summer, 1938 (The North American Review)The Fugitive
August 27, 1938 (The New Yorker)The White Pony
September, 1938 (Harper’s Bazaar)It Had To Be Done
November, 1938 (Harper’s Bazaar)The Sentimentalists
May, 1939 (American MercuryGetting On in the World
November, 1939 (John O’London’s Weekly)The Thing That Happened to Uncle Adolphe
July, 1940 (John O’London’s Weekly)Hello, America!
September, 1940 (Yale Review)Big Jules
March-April, 1943 (Story)Very Special Shoes
1944 (Canadian Accent)Two Fisherman
1947 (Saturday Evening Post)The Little Businessman
January, 1948 (Maclean’s)With an Air of Dignity
August, 1948 (Maclean’s)All Right, Flatfoot
September, 1948 (Saturday Evening Post)The New Kid
1950 (Maclean’s)The Bachelor's Dilemma
January, 1951 (Esquire)On the Edge of a World
December, 1951 (Redbook)Magic Hat
October, 1952 (Esquire)A Cap for Steve
September, 1953 (Canadian Home Journal)The Way it Ended
March, 1955 (Maclean’s)We Just Had to be Alone
April, 1955 (Maclean’s)The Man With the Coat
1955 (Weekend Magazine)The Insult
1957 (Chatelaine)Just Like Her Mother
1982 (A Literary Quarterly)Loppy Phelan's Double Shoot
1985 (The Lost and Found Stories)A Couple of Million Dollars
1985 (The Lost and Found Stories)The Lucky Lady
2003 (MC Complete Short Stories Vol 4.)Mother's Day at the Ballpark