A Careless Widow and Other Stories

Overview

First published in 1989, here is England's leading man of letters-as old as the century-at the height of his powers, the incomparable V. S. Pritchett, whose brilliantly observed short stories have become classics in his own lifetime. In these six beautifully crafted stories-his latest effort-we see a master at work, casting his eye over the subjects he knows best, the ordinary men and women of England: studious fourteen- year-old Sarah, whose life is changed by a game of hide-and-seek; or Lionel Frazier, the ...

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A Careless Widow and Other Stories

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Overview

First published in 1989, here is England's leading man of letters-as old as the century-at the height of his powers, the incomparable V. S. Pritchett, whose brilliantly observed short stories have become classics in his own lifetime. In these six beautifully crafted stories-his latest effort-we see a master at work, casting his eye over the subjects he knows best, the ordinary men and women of England: studious fourteen- year-old Sarah, whose life is changed by a game of hide-and-seek; or Lionel Frazier, the hairdresser, who looks at a woman and sees only her head; or George Andrews, the salesman, for whom new floral carpeting is always an exciting omen.

The genius of these stories is their familiarity-almost everyone will recognize a moment or a revelation of his own life in the experiences of Pritchett's utterly individual and incomparably real characters. Renowned in both the United States and England, Pritchett celebrates his eighty-ninth birthday with the publication of these six masterpieces. V. S. Pritchett's admirers and those lucky enough to be discovering him for the first time will find in A Careless Widow the work of a major talent at its best.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A master of the short story form, British author Pritchett has been writing for so many years that it is small wonder that his work is regarded as classic. Without a wasted word, these six craftily constructed tales deflate pomposity, reveal greed, poke fun, tickle the funny bone, trail red herrings. The delight they inspire in the reader lies in the sum of their detail. In the title story, women's hairstylist Lionel Frazier is annoyed while on holiday to be recognized by the importunate widow who is his neighbor at home and not, thank God, a client. Frazier, who thinks of women in terms of ``heads,'' finds himself alternately drawn and repelled by intimacy with Mrs. Morris. Here as in other stories, the droll plot is enhanced by the accumulating tidbits of Pritchett's subtle observations. When retired carpet salesman Mr. Andrews takes ``A Trip to the Seaside,'' it is ostensibly to get a ``sniff of sea air.'' Recently widowed and looking for a wife, he makes an intrusive visit to the home of his former secretary, where he is shaken to discover that ``a rival widower had stolen a march on him.'' Every word counts with Pritchett, and more times than not, what is going on is not what it seems. Sept.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781448200474
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 12/20/2012
  • Pages: 152
  • Product dimensions: 6.14 (w) x 9.21 (h) x 0.32 (d)

Meet the Author

Victor Sawdon Pritchett (1900-1997) was born over a toyshop in 1900 and, much to his everlasting distaste, was named after Queen Victoria. A writer and critic, his is widely reputed to be one of the best short story writers of all time, with the rare ability to capture the extraordinary strangeness of everyday life. He died in 1997.

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