The Oxford Book of Modern Women's Stories

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9780192832047: The Oxford Book of Modern Women's Stories

"The inadequate acknowledgement of women short story writers in standard anthologies is a cause for wonder or affront. How else, indeed, can you view it, given the riches overlooked?" So states editor Patricia Craig in her introduction to The Oxford Book of Modern Women's Stories, a rich, wide-ranging collection that, at last, redresses this historical imbalance by bringing together forty examples of the very best women's stories--from established authors such as Edith Wharton, Virginia Woolf, Eudora Welty, and Katherine Mansfield, to such modern masters as Margaret Atwood, Alice Munro, Bharati Mukherjee, and Amy Tan.
Here readers will find humor, passion, eccentricity, forcefulness, élan, intellectual vigor, subversion--indeed every shading of tone and mood, from ironic detachment to full-blooded engagement. Each writer has her own, perfectly realized angle of vision, whether it's the zestfulness of Angela Carter, the breathtaking evocations of Willa Cather, the quirkiness of Grace Paley, or the pungency of Flannery O'Connor.
Breaking with tradition, editor Patricia Craig offers few stories about traditional "women's" topics. Instead, the entries in this collection range from an unforgettable tale of racism in South Africa to explorations of adultery, immigration, the importance of cultural identity, and the rootlessness of American cities. Craig also includes some provocative offerings from outside the mainstream of twentieth century fiction--a ghost story by Edith Wharton, a delightful fairy tale, and several engaging historical pieces.
Eloquent and captivating, The Oxford Book of Modern Women's Stories offers a dazzling assortment of classic stories and overlooked gems that will amuse, intrigue, and challenge every lover of fine fiction.

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About the Author:


About the Editor:
Patricia Craig is the editor of The Oxford Book of English Detective Stories, The Penguin Book of British Comic Stories, and many other fine anthologies.

From Publishers Weekly:

British editor Craig aims here to "indicate in a single volume the extent of women's contributions to the short story form." While no such summing up seems possible, this excellent book goes a long way toward reaching her goal. Beginning with Willa Cather's classic "Paul's Case" (1905) and ranging through the 1990s, these 40 selections confirm the literary brilliance of many of their creators and, at the least, the deftness of craft of others. Stars of the collection are Alice Munro's highly charged re-creation of a woman's life in "Meneseteung"; Nadine Gordimer's 1956 story, the daringly candid, still timely "Which New Era Would That Be?"; "First Love" a darkly luminous tale from Eudora Welty; the deliciously witty, superbly crafted "The Rehabilitation of Ginevra Leake," by Hortense Calisher; the earthy, vigorous "An Interest in Life," by Grace Paley. More memoir than fiction, Mary McCarthy's "Yonder Peasant, Who Is He?" makes the heart quake; Flannery O'Connor's familiar "Good Country People" packs a wallop no matter how many times one has read it; Cynthia Ozick's "The Butterfly and the Traffic Light" gleams with stunning apercus. Margaret Atwood addresses the irony of youthful dreams in "Hair Jewellery," and Joyce Carol Oates's trademark erotic violence distinguishes "Scene of Passion and Despair." A clutch of typically British stories by Jane Gardam, Stevie Smith, Angela Carter and F.M. Mayor may be a bit less appealing to American readers, but Katherine Mansfield's "Je ne parle pas francais" remains riveting and Fay Weldon's sardonic "In the Great War" is the last word on women's lib. Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Bharati Mukherjee and Anjana Appachana limn pictures of their compatriots at home and as emigrants to other shores; Edna O'Brien evokes rural Ireland; and a chapter from Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club offers a Chinese-American woman's view of the world, rounding out a splendid collection.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Published by Oxford University Press (1995)
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