In a Cafe: Selected Storiesby Mary Lavin
On an island teeming with masters of the short story, Mary Lavin's distinct voice and devoted following set her apart. Before her death in 1996, this Irish writer had received many honors and prizes not only for her luminous short stories but also for several highly regarded novels. William Trevor praised Lavin's ability to "make moments timeless, to illuminate people and places, words and things, by touching them with the magic of the rarely-gifted storyteller." In a Cafe makes available for the first time in the United States a collection of her most beloved pieces as compiled by her daughter. In masterworks such as the title story, an unsettling portrayal of widowhood, and "The Will," which Lavin considered the finest expression of her art, we recognize the justice in Trevor's declaration that "the short story of today owes her a very great debt."
"I envy the skill of Mary Lavin. . . . In her capacity to make much out of little, to compress an entire ethos into an apparently banal situation, she reminds us what literature is all about." --Anthony Burgess
"I cannot think of any Irish writer who has gone so profoundly without fear into the Irish heart." --V. S. Pritchett
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