Don't Save Anything

Don't Save Anything : Uncollected Essays, Articles, and Profiles

4.07 (104 ratings by Goodreads)
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"In Don't Save Anything . . . Kay Eldredge Salter assembles her late husband's bread-and-butter journalism--yet how delicious good bread and butter can be! . . . As always, Salter emphasizes simple, vivifying details." --Michael Dirda, The Washington Post One of the greatest writers of American sentences in our literary history, James Salter's acute and glimmering portrayals of characters are built with a restrained and poetic style. The author of several memorable works of fiction--including Dusk and Other Stories, which won the PEN/Faulkner Award--he is also celebrated for his memoir Burning the Days and many nonfiction essays. In her preface, Kay Eldredge Salter writes, "Don't Save Anything is a volume of the best of Jim's nonfiction--articles published but never collected in one place until now. Though those many boxes were overflowing with papers, in the end it's not really a matter of quantity. These pieces reveal some of the breadth and depth of Jim's endless interest in the world and the people in it . . . One of the great pleasures in writing nonfiction is the writer's feeling of exploration, of learning about things he doesn't know, of finding out by reading and observing and asking questions, and then writing it down. That's what you'll find here." This collection gathers Salter's thoughts on writing and profiles of important writers, observations of the changing American military life, evocations of Aspen winters, musings on mountain climbing and skiing, and tales of travels to Europe that first appeared in The New Yorker, Esquire, People, Condé Nast Traveler, the Aspen Times, among other publications.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 320 pages
  • 160.02 x 231.14 x 38.1mm | 589.67g
  • Basic Civitas Books
  • United States
  • English
  • 1619029367
  • 9781619029361
  • 501,827

Review quote

Praise for Don't Save Anything "In Don't Save Anything . . . Kay Eldredge Salter assembles her late husband's bread-and-butter journalism--yet how delicious good bread and butter can be! . . . As always, Salter emphasizes simple, vivifying details." --Michael Dirda, The Washington Post "Its every page offers pleasure, the profound, joyful pleasure of watching a masterful writer at work. 'The thing that is marvelous is literature, which is like the sea, and the exaltation of being near it, ' Salter writes. For those who feel this exaltation, those who love the unique, inimitable sentences Salter contributed to that marvelous thing, Don't Save Anything will seem a precious gift." --Chicago Tribune "James Salter honed over the course of 60 years the lean, elegant prose style that graces each page in this new collection, Don't Save Anything . . . There's much to admire in the values Salter conveys with such lucidity in his work." --The Boston Globe "The collection offers something for every taste, along with a fascinating mosaic-like view of Salter's unfailingly interesting life." --Harper's Bazaar, 1 of 8 New Books You Need to Read in November "This posthumously issued gathering of some of Salter's non-fiction is made up of interviews with writers, travel and sports journalism, memoir and other miscellanea, but it might have been put forward as evidence of his pursuit of the true life. Salter emerges as a man of hyper-competence, curiosity and charm; writing at one moment about skiing or rock climbing and the next about the doctors behind the first artificial heart. All of this is lit by his desire to live fully while maintaining his composure . . . Salter, in these pages, meets every challenge with courage and flair." --The Times Literary Supplement "We should count our lucky stars that this much more of [Salter's] work is now so close at hand. It's one more invitation to wade out into the sea where he plunged himself a full 60 years ago and to which he belongs now, a lifeguard on the horizon signaling that the water is just fine." --The Millions "This is a collection of the finest writing of one of the finest writers, and human beings, that has ever been published. Don't miss it." --Aspen Daily News "Don't Save Anything shows [Salter's] affection for both the written word and the world at large." --Las Vegas Weekly "Delightful . . . this book reminds us that Salter, who died in 2015, was among his generation's finest literary craftsmen." --Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN) "[Salter's] observations are acute and self-aware, while at the same time bringing beauty into everything he describes." --Dan's Papers "No writer in the last half-century wrote a tighter sentence than James Salter." --Head Butler "Enlightening . . . These essays offer a fascinating window into the experiences of Salter's generation, and the wars, presidents, and writers who helped to shape his worldview. Not only for Salter's fans, Don't Save Anything is for anyone interested in the varied topics he discusses and American literature." --Booklist "The late Salter was commonly regarded as a writer's writer, and this superb collection shows why . . . Crisp and razor sharp, Salter's work peels away illusions to reveal the matter-of-fact nuances of his and our lives." --Publishers Weekly "These magazine pieces reflect the author's wide range of experience and interests as well as his prose mastery . . . Taken together, these pieces attest to a true life, a life well-lived and well-written." --Kirkus Reviews Praise for A Sport and a Pastime "Salter inhabits the same rarefied heights as Flannery O'Connor, Paul Bowles, Tennessee Williams, and John Cheever." --Ned Rorem, The Washington Post Book World "A feverishly compressed, exquisitely controlled story." --Richard Eder, Los Angeles Times "A tour de force of erotic realism, a romantic cliff-hanger; an opaline vision of Americans in France . . . A Sport and a Pastime succeeds as art must. It tells us about ourselves." --The New York Times Book Review "Salter particularly rewards those for whom reading is an intense pleasure." --Susan Sontag Praise for Light Years "Extraordinary . . . at once tender, exultant, unabashedly sexual, sensual, and profoundly sad. Light Years is a masterpiece." --Elizabeth Benedict, Philadelphia Inquirer "Remarkable. . . . Salter celebrates the silver-and-golden bitterness of life. Light Years . . . becomes an unexpectedly moving ode to beautiful lives frayed by time." --James Wolcott, Esquire "[A] twentieth-century masterpiece. At once iridescent, lyrical, mystical and magnetic." --Bloomsbury Review "An absolutely beautiful, monstrous, important book." --Joy Williams Praise for The Hunters "The contemporary writer most admired and envied by other writers... [He can] your heart with a sentence." --Washington Post Book World "Darkly romantic. . .beautifully composed. . .a brilliant war novel." --Chicago Tribune "Anyone under forty may not appreciate how profoundly Salter influenced my generation. [He] created the finest work ever to appear in print--ever--about men who fly and fight." --Robert F. Dorr, author of F-86 Sabre "There is scarcely a writer alive who could not learn from his passion and precision of language." --Peter Matthiessen, author of The Snow Leopard and co-founder of The Paris Review "Salter's prose is rare and stunning." --John Irving, author of The Cider House Rules Praise for Cassada: A Novel "A small gem, a lean, sinewy book that evokes a full and complex world of bitterness, striving and recklessness." --New York Times "It isn't often that a writer of superlative skills knows enough about flying to write well about it; Saint-Exupery was one; Salter is another." --New York Times Book Review "Salter is the contemporary writer most admired and envied by other writers... He can, when he wants, break you heart with a sentence." --Michael Dirda, Washington Post Book World "Cassada is a masterpiece, a book in which men wage an elemental battle for survival against invisible forces." --Mark Levine, Men's Journal
"The grace and brutality of his writing make him one of our best and most central novelists." --Los Angeles Times "Brilliant. Sentence for sentence Salter is the master." --Richard Ford, author of Let Me Be Frank With You "Salter is a writer who particularly rewards those for whom reading is an intense pleasure." --Susan Sontag, author of Illness as Metaphor "Salter's prose is rare and stunning." --John Irving, author of The Cider House Rules Praise for There and Then: The Travel Writing of James Salter "Short essays by novelist, short story author and prose stylist Salter (Last Night) explore his lifelong romance with Europe and Japan... these essays showcase Salter's writerly touch." --Publishers Weekly Praise for Gods of Tin: The Flying Years "[A] slim volume that nonetheless packs a forceful punch. It's slimness is due in part to the author's voice, marked by brevity, and his uncanny ability to freeze a scene. . . . and to capture a character with a mere trickle of words." --The Rocky Mountain News "By placing all the entries, from Salter's fiction and nonfiction, as near as possible in chronological order, the reader can see how the pilot turned his diary into literature." --The Columbus Dispatch "A splendid thing in a small package is this flying book. . . . All the voices have a superb command of the English language and vividly depict the sensations and human interactions involved in flying." --Publishers Weekly "Above all, the book collocates some of the finest aviation writing of the twentieth century, otherwise hard to find if not altogether out of print." --Booklist
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About James Salter

JAMES SALTER was a novelist, short story writer, screenwriter, and essayist. Born in 1925, Salter grew up in New York City and was a career officer and Air Force pilot until his mid-thirties, when the success of his first novel The Hunters led to a fulltime writing career. Salter's potent, lyrical prose has earned him acclaim from critics, readers, and fellow novelists. He was the recipient of a PEN/Faulkner Award and the PEN/Malamud Award, among others. His novel A Sport and a Pastime was hailed by the New York Times as "nearly perfect as any American fiction." His other books include Cassada and Light Years. He died on June 19, 2015, at ninety years old.
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Rating details

104 ratings
4.07 out of 5 stars
5 32% (33)
4 45% (47)
3 21% (22)
2 2% (2)
1 0% (0)
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