Synopses & Reviews
Only V.S. Pritchett, one of the most distinguished living writers of short stories in English, could tackle the daunting task of compiling a short story anthology, a project that entails displaying in a single volume the wealth and variety of an art that spans over 200 years and has evolved out of many divergent literary traditions. Accepting the challenge, Pritchett has chosen over forty stories written in the English language during the period between the early nineteenth century and the present day.
Since the time of Sir Walter Scott, Edgar Allan Poe, and Nathaniel Hawthorne, Great Britain, America, and especially Ireland have developed great traditions of short-story writing, which Ernest Hemingway, D.H. Lawrence, Somerset Maugham, John Updike, and V.S. Pritchett himself have perpetuated in this century. Demonstrating the full range of invention and ability within the genre, Pritchett includes a sampling of stories by such Irish masters as James Joyce, Frank O'Connor, and Liam O'Flaherty, as well as stories by Canadian, Indian, New Zealand, and Australian writers.
In the Introduction, Pritchett stresses that the collection does not necessarily contain "the best" short stories. Instead, he has chosen these stories based on his own personal tastes seasoned by "seventy years of passionate addiction to the short story and fifty years as a fellow writer" in the art. Rejecting over-anthologized stories in favor of ones previously overlooked, Pritchett brings together some of the most original examples of this changing art. In this way, The New Oxford Book of Short Stories bears witness to the talent of the past and the talent that continues to flourish.
V. S. Pritchett, one of our greatest short story writers, has chosen forty-one stories from nine countries written in the English language for this volume, producing a collection that successfully displays the wealth and variety of an art that spans some 200 years.
The United States, Great Britain, and Ireland have fine traditions of short story writing that have developed from the time of Sir Walter Scott and Nathaniel Hawthorne. In the twentieth century the art was perfected by Ernest Hemingway, D. H. Lawrence, W. Somerset Maugham, John Updike, and V. S. Pritchett himself. Other contributions in the book come from such masters as James Joyce, Mark Twain, Henry James, Rudyard Kipling, Frank O'Connor, H. E. Bates, William Trevor, and Liam O'Flaherty. Now, the collection of short story masters extends to Canadian, Indian, New Zealander, and Australian writers, who show in the works included here the full range of invention and ability in a genre that continues to flourish.
About the Author
About the Editor
Sir Victor Pritchett is a novelist, short-story writer, critic, biographer, and traveler. His books include the novel, Mr. Beluncle; a highly acclaimed collection of short stories, On the Edge of the Cliff; two books of criticism, The Myth Makers and The Tale Bearers; a biography of Turgenev, The Gentle Barbarian; and the classic travel book, The Spanish Temper.