The Bazaar and Other Stories

Overview

Toward the end of her life, Elizabeth Bowen claimed that "a story deals in the not-yet-thought-of but always possible." Playing with a range of circumstances—broken engagements, encounters with ghosts, brushes with crime—the stories in this collection demonstrate the virtuosity of technique that characterized all of Bowen's writing.

"The Lost Hope" ranks with the best of her war stories, shattering the lives of soldiers and civilians alike and capturing the cancelled promise of a generation that came of age in ...

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Overview

Toward the end of her life, Elizabeth Bowen claimed that "a story deals in the not-yet-thought-of but always possible." Playing with a range of circumstances—broken engagements, encounters with ghosts, brushes with crime—the stories in this collection demonstrate the virtuosity of technique that characterized all of Bowen's writing.

"The Lost Hope" ranks with the best of her war stories, shattering the lives of soldiers and civilians alike and capturing the cancelled promise of a generation that came of age in the 1940s. The war can also clear a path to the future, as in "Comfort and Joy" and "The Last Bus." Bowen's characters are gripped by intense circumstances and respond either ardently or ironically or both, as in "Flowers Will Do." Sometimes the children in these stories are too wise for their age, such as the punctual protagonist of "The Unromantic Princess," and the adults occasionally behave with no insight at all. Bowen's humor ranges from the sardonic to the light-hearted. In the collection's title story, "The Bazaar," Captain Winch begs for pins, ultimately stealing them, while Lady Hottenham gives an impromptu speech that drifts agonizingly into cliché.

The fairy tales, fables, and social dramas of this volume were never published together during Bowen's lifetime, and a few exist only in unfinished draft. With this collection, Bowen's gift with keen social observation is remarkably on display, echoing the keen eye of D. H. Lawrence, Katherine Mansfield, Virginia Woolf, and James Joyce.

Key Features:*For the first time Bowen's uncollected short stories are brought together in one volume*Showcases the diversity of Bowen's short fiction across her career*Bowen's familiar themes of marriage, travel, estrangement, disappointmen, and disinheritance*Perfectly demonstrates Bowen's mastery of the short story.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780748635726
  • Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
  • Publication date: 8/1/2008
  • Pages: 384
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Elizabeth Bowen (1899-1973) was a leading Anglo-Irish novelist and short story writer. Allan Hepburn is professor of English at McGill University in Montreal. He is also the editor of Elizabeth Bowen's People, Places, Things.

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