The Country of the Pointed Firs and Selected Short Fiction (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) by Sarah Orne Jewett
The Country of the Pointed Firs and Selected Short Fiction, by Sarah Orne Jewett, is part of the Barnes & Noble Classics series, which offers quality editions at affordable prices to the student and the general reader, including new scholarship, thoughtful design, and pages of carefully crafted extras. Here are some of the remarkable features of Barnes & Noble Classics:
- New introductions commissioned from today's top writers and scholars
- Biographies of the authors
- Chronologies of contemporary historical, biographical, and cultural events
- Footnotes and endnotes
- Selective discussions of imitations, parodies, poems, books, plays, paintings, operas, statuary, and films inspired by the work
- Comments by other famous authors
- Study questions to challenge the reader's viewpoints and expectations
- Bibliographies for further reading
- Indices & Glossaries, when appropriate
All editions are beautifully designed and are printed to superior specifications; some include illustrations of historical interest. Barnes & Noble Classics
pulls together a constellation of influences—biographical, historical, and literary—to enrich each reader's understanding of these enduring works.
Even the title of Sarah Orne Jewett’s most celebrated work seems to revel in the love of landscape and language that flows through it. Though nominally a novel, The Country of the Pointed Firs lacks the coherent, unifying plot of more traditional books. Instead, Jewett creates a mosaic of tales and character sketches, all set in the fictional Maine fishing hamlet of Dunnet Landing. The unnamed narrator, an unmarried female writer (like Jewett herself), has come to the town seeking a summer of solitude and work. But she’s drawn to the villagers she meets. Most of them are over sixty, alone, and covering a roiling inner ocean of feeling with a craggy exterior as rocky as the ragged coastline. Entranced by their stories, she allows them to enter her life.
When the book first appeared, Willa Cather prophesied that the “young students of American literature in far distant years to come will take up this book and say ‘a masterpiece.’” Now, more than a century later, Cather’s words resonate more urgently than ever.
This edition also includes “A White Heron,” “A Winter Courtship,” “A Native of Winby,” and several other of Jewett’s cogent short stories.
Ted Olson is Associate Professor at East Tennessee State University in Johnson City, Tennessee, and the author of Blue Ridge Folklife (University Press of Mississippi, 1998).