The collected stories of Elizabeth Bowen

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Knopf, Feb 12, 1981 - Fiction - 784 pages
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Seventy-seven stories by the acclaimed Irish writer range from the 1920s to the present and demonstrate the immediacy of her vision, her intense sense of place and character, and her mastery of the short-story form

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The Collected Stories of Elizabeth Bowen

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Along with penning novels, Bowen was quite a prolific short story writer. Published posthumously (she shuffled off her mortal coil in 1973), this 1981 collection gathers 79 shorts on love, war, and even a ghost story. Read full review


Introduction by Angus Wilson

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About the author (1981)

Elizabeth Bowen, distinguished Anglo-Irish novelist, was born in Dublin in 1899, traveled extensively, lived in London, and inherited the family estate-Bowen's Court, in County Cork. Her account of the house, Bowen's Court (1942), with a detailed fictionalized history of the family in Ireland through three centuries, has charm, warmth, and insight. Seven Winters is a fragment of autobiography published in England in 1942. The "Afterthoughts" of the original edition are critical essays in which she discusses and analyzes, among others, such literary figures as Virginia Woolf, E. M. Forster, Katherine Mansfield, Anthony Trollope, and Eudora Welty. Bowen's stories, mostly about people of the British upper middle class, portray relationships that are never simple, except, perhaps, on the surface. Her concern with time and memory is a major theme. Beautifully and delicately written, her stories, with their oblique psychological revelations, are symbolic, subtle, and terrifying. A Time in Rome (1960) is her brilliant evocation of that city and its layered past. In 1948, Bowen was made a Commander of the British Empire. Bowen died in 1973.

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