1. James Salter

    James Salter (b. 1925) is a novelist, short story writer, and screenwriter. 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, 1957) led to a fulltime writing career. Salter’s potent, lyrical prose has earned him acclaim from critics, readers, and fellow novelists. His novel A Sport and a Pastime (1967) was hailed by the New York Times as “nearly perfect as any American fiction.” He lives in New York with his family.

  2. James Salter

    James Salter (b. 1925) is a novelist, short story writer, and screenwriter, best known for his critically acclaimed classic novels A Sport and a Pastime (1967) and Light Years (1976). Though his earliest novels centered on life in the military, Salter’s subject matter has been diverse, and his potent, lyrical prose has earned him praise from critics, readers, and fellow novelists.

    Salter was born James Horowitz on June 10, 1925, in Passaic, New Jersey. He grew up in New York City where his father, George, was an economist and real estate broker. Throughout his youth Salter was a sheltered only child, good student, and avid reader. He attended public schools in New York, leading to his graduation from Horace Mann at the age of seventeen.

    In 1942 Salter followed in the footsteps of his father and entered West Point, where he graduated as a pilot in 1945. He was stationed in the Philippines in 1946, followed by Japan and Hawaii. After returning to school for a master’s degree at Georgetown University, he volunteered for duty in the Korean War, where he joined a fighter wing that was charged with the task of countering enemy MiG jet fighters. He logged over one hundred combat missions. The experience provided the basis of his first novel, The Hunters (1956), which he wrote while still serving in the Air Force. The book realistically portrayed the lives of pilots during war and quickly became a classic of aviation literature. It was made into a film starring Robert Mitchum in 1958.

    Prior to the publication of his first novel, Salter married Ann Altemus, with whom he eventually had four children. With the success of his first novel—and with his growing family—Salter made the difficult decision to leave the military and throw himself into writing fulltime. He published a second novel, The Arm of Flesh in 1961.

    In 1967, Salter’s third novel, A Sport and a Pastime, forever changed the trajectory of his career. While his first two books had earned him a reputation for candid depictions of military life, the third entered new territory, describing an Ivy League dropout who begins an affair with a young shopgirl in provincial France. Powerful and sensual, A Sport and a Pastime shocked readers and drew praise from critics for its sophisticated style. Two more novels followed: Light Years (1975), about a deteriorating marriage, and Solo Faces (1979), about the classic American loner and romantic figure, in this case a mountain climber.

    Salter has published many award-winning short stories, and his collection Dusk and Other Stories received the PEN/Faulkner Award in 1988. He also worked for a number of years as a screenwriter, starting with the script for Downhill Racer (1969), starring Robert Redford. It was during this time that Salter and his wife divorced. He later met journalist and playwright Kay Eldredge, with whom he has one son.

    Salter lives with Eldredge in New York City and Colorado.

Featured ebook

A Sport and a Pastime

A Sport and a Pastime

James Salter

The astonishing novel and “tour de force” about a love affair in postwar France from the iconic author of All That Is (The New York Times Book Review).

Twenty-year-old Yale dropout Phillip Dean is traveling Europe aimlessly in a borrowed car with little money. When he stops for a few days in a church-quiet town near Dijon, he meets Anne-Marie Costallat, a young shop assistant. The two begin an affair both carnal and innocent, and she quickly becomes to him the real France, its beating heart and an object of pure longing.

James Salter, author of Light Years and the memoir Burning the Days, was an essential voice in the evolution of late twentieth-century prose, a stylist on par with Updike and Roth who won the PEN/Faulkner Award for his collection Dusk and Other Stories. One of the first great American novels to speak frankly of human desire free of guilt and shame, A Sport and a Pastime inspired Reynolds Price to call it “as nearly perfect as any American fiction I know.”

This ebook edition features an illustrated biography of James Salter including rare photos from the author’s personal collection.

Ebooks by James Salter

2 of 2 ebooks
2 of 2 ebooks