What do people do all day?


…but deep down I knew it would be a waste of time. And I was tired of wasting time.”

Cameron in his pure essence. If you have already read other books by the author, in this one you will find everything you like about him, like a concentrated juice, to be diluted within the flow of spoken and, above all, unspoken words. If you haven’t read a book by him yet, we recommend starting with another title, perhaps a novel.

Book of short stories, without any connection between them, which offer dynamic slides of life. To distance the stories also the time difference in which they were written, only children of the author’s creativity, published individually in different warheads, which are found here in this volume as in a family reunion.

Each story a new yet already known world. An everyday life that is certainly American, and it cannot be otherwise, but in which even a European can find himself, or at least not feel completely foreign.

Family dramas of varying severity, love misunderstandings with unexpected implications, a wide range of dissatisfaction to choose from. The ordinary characters of the various stories waste time (like all of us after all) finding answers to fundamental questions of their lives, only to then understand that there are other questions, and that perhaps they don’t need answers.

To our hearts, in Cameron’s short stories we see colorful reflections of Raymond Carver. The apparent light sense of the plots narrated, as well as the construction of the main characters and their way of getting in touch with the reader, tell an equal way of entering the reader’s imagination, and of showing the normality of the malaise of everyone’s life the days.

While appreciating the Italian version, with an impeccable translation, which trust me is not something taken for granted, we were curious to read the stories in the original language. Savor the essence of Cameron that we spoke of at the beginning to the fullest, so as not to run the risk of losing even a nuance.


Peter Cameron, What do people do all day?, Adelphi, Milano, 2023

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