"The subjects of these stories range from the sublime to the ridiculous, from the momentous to the trivial, from the grim to the farcical," writes acclaimed novelist A.S. Byatt in her introduction to this remarkable collection. Indeed, if the eccentricities of the English imagination can be contained in a single volume, an anthology of short stories might be the best book for the task.
From Anthony Trollope, Charles Dickens, and Thomas Hardy through Rudyard Kipling, H.G. Wells, D.H. Lawrence, and Virginia Woolf, right up to Graham Greene, J.G. Ballard, Angela Carter, Ian McEwan, and many others, The Oxford Book of English Short Stories exhibits the capacious and often capricious nature of the English literary sensibility. "There is English empiricism, English pragmatism, English starkness, English humour, English satire, English dandyism, English horror, and English whimsy," notes A.S. Byatt in surveying the stories she has selected. "There are characteristic mixed modes which seem to go back further than Austen and Defoe to Chaucer and Shakespeare." Byatt shows us the links between stories, the literary currents that both connect and distinguish writers as diverse as Mary Mann, V.S. Pritchett, P.G. Wodehouse, Penelope Fitzgerald, and Alan Sillitoe. And although the thirty-seven stories gathered here range from social realism to surreal fantasy, from rural poverty to war-blitzed London, from tales of the supernatural to precise delineations of the mundane, all are unified by Byatt's demanding criteria that the works be both "startling and satisfying."
For short story lovers and anyone unable to resist the enchantments of the English imagination, The Oxford Book of Short Stories offers a wide array of unforgettable pleasures.
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From Kirkus Reviews:
A.S. Byatt is a prize-winning novelist, essayist, reviewer, and broadcaster. Her books include Possession, The Matisse Stories, and Angels and Insects.
A solid collection of 37 stories, presumably intended to accompany an earlier volume edited by the late V.S. Pritchett. Byatt has cast her net widely and well, and included such overlooked gems as Graham Greene's ``The Destructors,'' Charlotte Mew's ``A White Night,'' and H.E. Bates's amazingly rich ``The Waterfall.'' Byatt's long Introductionwhich might well stand as a capsule history of its subjectsensibly emphasizes ``the evocation of the concrete'' as a common feature of English (as opposed to other British Isles' or Commonwealth) short fiction, while offering superb concise assessments of classic writers like Dickens, Trollope, Hardy, and Wells. If some of her omissions (especially de la Mare, Lessing, and Angus Wilson) are hard to defend, one is grateful for her unearthing of neglected writers like Arthur Morrison, Malachi Whitaker, and (the other) Elizabeth Taylor. All in all, one of Oxford's best, and another feather in Byatt's richly decorated cap. -- Copyright ©1998, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.
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Descrizione libro Oxford University Press, 1998. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Condizione sovraccoperta: New. Book and DJ are New, No price on DJ, B-35, ; Oxford Books of Prose; 8.81 X 5.69 X 1.41 inches; 472 pages. Codice libro della libreria 29336
Descrizione libro Oxford University Press, 1998. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. book. Codice libro della libreria 0192142380
Descrizione libro Oxford University Press, 1998. Hardcover. Condizione libro: New. Codice libro della libreria P110192142380