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I was jealous of her writing. The only writing I have ever been jealous of.’ Virginia Woolf
Virginia Woolf was not the only writer to admire Mansfield’s work: Thomas Hardy, D. H. Lawrence, and Elizabeth Bowen all praised her stories, and her early death at the age of thirty-four cut short one of the finest short-story writers in the English language.
This selection covers the full range of Mansfield’s fiction, from her early satirical stories to the subtly nuanced comedy of ‘The Daughters of the Late Colonel’ and the macabre and ominous ‘A Married Man’s Story’. The stories that pay what Mansfield calls ‘a debt of love’ to New Zealand are as sharply etched as the European stories, and she recreates her childhood world with mordant insight. Disruption is a constant theme, whether the tone is comic, tragic, nostalgic, or domestic, echoing Mansfield’s disrupted life and the fractured expressions of Modernism.
This new edition increases the selection from 27 to 33 stories and prints them in the order in which they first appeared, in the definitive texts established by Anthony Alpers