The Angel on the Roof

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The Angel on the Roof: The Stories of Russell Banks (2000) is a collection of short stories by Russell Banks. It consists of a total of thirty-one previously published stories, twenty-two appearing in earlier short story collections, and nine were uncollected.

The previously collected stories were originally published in the following volumes by Banks: Searching for Survivors (New York: Fiction Collective/ Braziller, 1975); Trailerpark (New York: HarperCollins, 1981); Success Stories (New York: HarperCollins, 1986).

In his "Note" appended at the end of this volume, Russell Banks writes the following:

As this book is published, I am turning sixty, and these stories represent the best work I have done in the form over the thirty-seven years since I began trying to write in prose — at least that’s my hope.[1]


Twenty-two of the thirty-one stories that Banks selected for this volume were published in four earlier collections, although Banks writes that many of the stories "have been revised for this edition".[1]

Previously collected stories[edit]

The following is a list of the previously collected stories republished in The Angel on the Roof, under the titles of the collections in which they originally appeared:

From Searching for Survivors (1975)
  • “Searching for Survivors”
  • “With Ché in New Hampshire”
  • “Theory of Flight” (originally “With Ché at Kitty Hawk”)
  • “The Neighbor”
  • “The Lie”
  • “Defenseman”
From The New World (1978)
  • “The Rise of the Middle Class”
  • “Indisposed”
  • “The Caul”
From Trailerpark (1981)
  • “The Guinea Pig Lady”
  • “Black Man and White Woman in Dark Green Rowboat”
  • “Dis Bwoy, Him Gwan”
  • “Comfort”
  • “The Burden”
  • “Child Screams and Looks Back at You”
  • “The Fisherman”
From Success Stories (1986)
  • “Queen for a Day”
  • “The Fish”
  • “Success Story”
  • “Mistake”
  • “Sarah Cole: A Type of Love Story”
  • “Firewood”

Uncollected stories[edit]

The previously uncollected stories in The Angel on the Roof are as follows (with the original publication/periodical in parenthesis):

  • “Plains of Abraham” (Esquire)
  • “Djinn” (Esquire)
  • “Lobster Night” (Esquire)
  • “The Visit” (The Village Voice Literary Supplement)
  • “Xmas” (The Boston Globe Magazine)
  • “The Moor” (Conjunctions)
  • “Cow-Cow” (GQ)
  • “Quality Time” (Ploughshares)
  • “Assisted Living” (?)

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Banks, Russell. The Angel on the Roof: The Stories of Russell Banks (Kindle Locations 7435-7437). Harper Perennial, 2011.