The Oxford Book of English Short Stories

Overview

A. S. Byatt's Oxford Book of English Short Stories is a celebration of the richness of English short-story writing. The thirty-seven stories featured here are selected from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, ranging from Dickens, Trollope, and Hardy, to J. G. Ballard, Angela Carter, and Ian McEwan. A. S. Byatt explains: 'My only criterion was that those stories I selected should be startling and satisfying, and if possible make the hairs on the neck prickle with excitement,...
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Overview

A. S. Byatt's Oxford Book of English Short Stories is a celebration of the richness of English short-story writing. The thirty-seven stories featured here are selected from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, ranging from Dickens, Trollope, and Hardy, to J. G. Ballard, Angela Carter, and Ian McEwan. A. S. Byatt explains: 'My only criterion was that those stories I selected should be startling and satisfying, and if possible make the hairs on the neck prickle with excitement, aesthetic or narrative.'
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Editorial Reviews

Kirkus Reviews
A solid collection of 37 stories, presumably intended to accompany an earlier volume edited by the late V.S. Pritchett. Byatt has cast her net widely and well, and included such overlooked gems as Graham Greene's "The Destructors," Charlotte Mew's "A White Night," and H.E. Bates's amazingly rich "The Waterfall." Byatt's long Introductionþwhich might well stand as a capsule history of its subjectþsensibly emphasizes "the evocation of the concrete" as a common feature of English (as opposed to other British Isles' or Commonwealth) short fiction, while offering superb concise assessments of classic writers like Dickens, Trollope, Hardy, and Wells. If some of her omissions (especially de la Mare, Lessing, and Angus Wilson) are hard to defend, one is grateful for her unearthing of neglected writers like Arthur Morrison, Malachi Whitaker, and (the other) Elizabeth Taylor. All in all, one of Oxford's best, and another feather in Byatt's richly decorated cap.
From the Publisher

"Byatt has cast her net widely and well.... Her long introduction--which might well stand as a capsule history of the subject--sensibly emphasizes 'the evocation of the concrete' as a common feature of English short fiction, while offering superb concise assessments of classic writers like Dickens, Trollope, Hardy, and Wells.... One of Oxford's best, and another feather in Byatt's richly decorated cap."--Kirkus Reviews

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199561605
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 5/7/2009
  • Series: Oxford Books of Prose & Verse Series
  • Edition description: Reissue
  • Edition number: 2
  • Pages: 472
  • Sales rank: 495,970
  • Product dimensions: 5.00 (w) x 7.60 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

A.S. Byatt is a prize-winning novelist, essayist, reviewer, and broadcaster. Her books include Possession, The Matisse Stories, and Angels and Insects.

Biography

A. S. Byatt, author of the Booker Prize-winning Possession, is internationally acclaimed as a novelist, short story writer and critic. Her most recent fiction outside this tetralogy is The Biographer's Tale, a novel, and Elementals, a collection of short stories. She was created a Dame of the British Empire in 1999.

Author biography courtesy of Random House, Inc.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Antonia Susan Drabble Byatt (full name)
    2. Hometown:
      London, England; France
    1. Date of Birth:
      August 24, 1936
    2. Place of Birth:
      Sheffield, England
    1. Education:
      B.A., Newnham College, Cambridge, 1957; graduate study at Bryn Mawr College and Somerville College

Table of Contents

Introduction
The Sacristan of St. Botolph 1
The Haunted House 18
Relics of General Chasse: A Tale of Antwerp 44
A Mere Interlude 63
Little Brother 93
Two Doctors 97
Behind the Shade 105
'Wireless' 110
Under the Knife 127
A White Night 139
The Toys of Peace 155
The Tremendous Adventures of Major Brown 160
Some Talk of Alexander 180
The Reverent Wooing of Archibald 188
Solid Objects 204
The Man who Loved Islands 210
A Tragedy in Green 233
A Widow's Quilt 243
Nuns at Luncheon 250
Landlord of the Crystal Fountain 264
On the Edge of the Cliff 270
A Dream of Winter 286
An Englishman's Home 295
The Destructors 311
The Waterfall 325
The Troll 345
The Blush 355
At Hiruharama 362
My Flannel Knickers 369
Enoch's Two Letters 372
Dream Cargoes 381
Telephone 396
My Story 398
The Kiss 400
The Beauty of the Dawn Shift 403
Solid Geometry 420
Dead Languages 435
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