James Salter

James Salter was an acclaimed American novelist and short-story writer known for his elegant prose and insightful exploration of human relationships. His notable works include 'The Hunters,' 'Light Years,' and 'A Sport and a Pastime.' Salter's writing often delved into themes of love, war, and the experiences of military life, reflecting his own background as a former fighter pilot. He received numerous literary awards and was praised for his precise and poetic use of language.


This list of books are ONLY the books that have been ranked on the lists that are aggregated on this site. This is not a comprehensive list of all books by this author.

  1. 1. Dusk

    "Dusk" is a collection of short stories that explore the complexities of human relationships and the fleeting nature of life. The stories delve into the lives of various characters including a pilot, a soldier, and a painter, among others, each grappling with their own personal struggles and experiences. The narratives are imbued with themes of love, loss, regret, and the relentless passage of time, showcasing the author's ability to capture the nuanced emotions and realities of the human condition.

  2. 2. Light Years

    "Light Years" is a vivid and intimate portrayal of a couple's complex relationship over the course of their lives. The story follows a charismatic and successful couple living in a beautiful home near the Hudson River. As they entertain their friends with lavish parties, their seemingly perfect life begins to unravel, revealing the cracks in their marriage and the emptiness that lies beneath their glamorous lifestyle. The novel explores themes of love, happiness, and the passage of time, offering a poignant critique of the American dream.

  3. 3. Last Night

    "Last Night" is a collection of ten short stories that delve into the complexities of human relationships, love, and mortality. The narratives are marked by their elegant prose and keen psychological insights, as they explore the intimate moments and pivotal events that shape the lives of the characters. From the story of a couple facing the wife's terminal illness to the tale of an adulterous love affair with unforeseen consequences, the book captures the poignant and often painful moments that define our fleeting existence. The stories are a testament to the author's mastery of the short story form, showcasing his ability to convey the depth of human emotion with subtlety and grace.

  4. 4. A Sport and a Pastime

    The book is a provocative and sensual narrative about an illicit affair between a young American man and a French girl in post-war France. Set in the picturesque town of Autun, the novel explores themes of desire, love, and the blurred line between reality and fantasy. The story is narrated by an unnamed observer, who paints a vivid picture of the couple's passionate relationship, their exploration of love and sensuality, and the inevitable tragedy that follows.

  5. 5. Solo Faces

    "Solo Faces" centers on the life of a man who is driven by an insatiable passion for mountain climbing. The protagonist, a skilled and introspective climber, navigates the perilous and exhilarating world of high-altitude mountaineering, where he confronts both the physical dangers of the sport and the existential questions of purpose and belonging. His solitary pursuits and the relationships he forms with fellow climbers lead him on a journey across various landscapes, from the Sierra Nevada to the Alps, as he seeks to transcend the limits of the ordinary world and find meaning in the pursuit of the sublime. The novel is a meditation on the human desire to challenge the boundaries of experience and the costs that come with such ambition.