Selected Stories by Elizabeth Bowen (2021)
This book brings together a collection of stories by Elizabeth Bowen, chosen and introduced by author Tessa Hadley.
Taking in her native Ireland and the streets of London after the Blitz, the stories involve a girl with a secret den, a couple strolling through a ruined city and a teacher who dreams of killing her pupil.
Bowen was born in Dublin in 1899. Her first book, Encounters, also a collection of short stories, was published in 1923, with her first novel, The Hotel, following four years later. In an essay for the London Review of Books, partially reproduced in the introduction to this collection, Hadley writes: ‘Bowen is one of those rare writers who is equally good at novels and short stories; in fact, because her novels are short, densely written, formally deliberate, it’s not easy to particularise any difference between them and the stories, apart from the obvious length and development. In her style and way of seeing, she’s a short writer: less rather than more, concision rather than expansion.’