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Edited with an introduction by Bernice Slote, subtitled Willa Cather's Uncollected Short Fiction 1915-1929.

I'm unsteadily reading my way through Willa Cather as the accidents of acquisition and reading time permit because I very much enjoy her writing. This collection of short stories probably came back from the US with me, and got picked up to be read in a busy week. It worked brilliantly.

The stories are from periods when Cather was working and writing in Pittsburgh and New York, and were originally published in magazines. They deal with urban and suburban life, art, work and sex, are very good, and great fun. They evoke their places brilliantly. They are not kind, and do not have a high opinion of human nature, but even the worst behaved of the characters is observed with respect. (They remind me somewhat of stories by Katherine Mansfield, a contemporary of Cather's known primarily for short stories, whose work I also enjoy a great deal.)

The book is published by the University of Nebraska Press. There is a 20-page introduction which I started and found nigh unreadable, and abandoned half way through until after I had read the stories. Then I read it again all the way through, and thought it unnecessary to my pleasure. Its explanation of where the stories fit in Cather's life and career assumes the reader's detailed knowledge and academic interest, which is not where I am coming from. I would almost rather not have read it.

(I see that Wikipedia lists nine collections of short stories by Cather, not including this one, which is my first. Also, I have only read three of Cather's twelve novels. I'd better get on with them - I have at least two unread on my shelves.)

[Edited at least 3 times to correct typos.]

Comments

( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
vgqn
20th May, 2015 17:23 (UTC)
I too read a collection by Willa Cather and quite enjoyed it. Now I feel inspired to seek out more.
coth
20th May, 2015 17:34 (UTC)
Ooh. Good. I like it when somebody says they will read something I enjoyed.

And when I find I want to read something because I have read someone else's comments. I have just read a review of Goblin Emporer which makes me actively want to read it, and not just because it has a Hugo nomination.
( 2 comments — Leave a comment )

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Caroline M

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