A Donald Barthelme Collection

Title:  Overnight to Many Distant Cities
Printing:  First
Year of publication:  1983
Publisher:  Farrar, Straus and Giroux
City:  New York
Number of Pages:  174
Cover:  hard cover
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number:  83-4594
ISBN:  0-399-12868-9

Table of contents
  1. They called for more structure ...
  2. Visitors
  3. Financially, the paper ... (titled Pepperoni in Forty Stories)
  4. Affection
  5. I put a name in an envelope ...
  6. Lightning
  7. That guy in the back room ...
  8. Captain Blood
  9. A woman seated on a plain wooden chair ...
  10. Conversations with Goethe
  11. Well we all had our Willie & Wade records ...
  12. Henrietta and Alexandra
  13. Speaking of the human body ...
  14. The Sea of Hesitation
  15. When he came ... (titled The New Owner in Forty Stories)
  16. Terminus
  17. The first thing the baby did wrong ... (titled The Baby in Forty Stories)
  18. The Mothball Fleet
  19. Now that I am older ...
  20. Wrack
  21. On our street ... (titled Sakrete in Forty Stories)
  22. The Palace at Four A. M.
  23. I am at the moment ...
  24. Overnight to Many Distant Cities


They called for more structure, then, so we brought in some big hairy four-by-fours from the back shed and nailed them into place with railroad spikes. This new city, they said, was going to be just jim-dandy, would make architects stutter, would make Chambers of Commerce burst into flame. We would have our own witch doctors, and strange gods aplenty, and site-specific sins, and humuhumunukunukuapuaa in the public fish bowls. We workers listened with our mouths agape. We had never heard anything like it. But we trusted our instincts and our paychecks, so we pressed on, bringing in color-coated steel from the back shed and anodized aluminum from the shed behind that. Oh radiant city! we said to ourselves, how we want you to be built!

photo credit:  Jill Krementz, 1983