Books

Wedding Stories

Diana Secker Tesdell

The stories collected here--including such gems as Stephen Crane's "The Bride Comes to Yellow Sky," O. Henry's "The Marry Month of May," F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Bridal Party," Joy Williams's "The Wedding," and Lorrie Moore's "Thank You For Having Me", encompass comic wedding mishaps, engagements broken and mended, honeymoon adventures, and scenes both heartwarming and heartbreaking. There are glamorous weddings in Paris and New York, and more eccentric ones in the Wild West and on a remote island beach. There are nervous brides, forgetful grooms, meddling guests, interrupted nuptials, second thoughts, and second chances. Above all, there are all kinds of people - young and old, rich and poor, divorced and widowed, with or without children - joining together in the age-old quest for matrimonial happiness.

Shaken and Stirred

Diana Secker Tesdell

In this lively collection, wine snobs receive their comeuppance at the hands of Roald Dahl and Edgar Allan Poe; innocents over-imbibe in tales by Jack London and Alice Munro; riotous partying exacts a comic price in stories by P. G. Wodehouse and Kingsley Amis; Charles Jackson and Jean Rhys chronicle liquor-soaked epiphanies; while John Cheever, Vladimir Nabokov and Robert Coover set their characters afloat on surreal, soul-revealing adventures. Here, too, are well-lubricated tales by Dickens, Twain, Beckett, Colette, Dorothy Parker, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Doris Lessing, Frank O'Connor, Penelope Lively, and many more.

The settings include hotels and restaurants, a wine cellar in Italy, a café in Paris, a bar in Dublin, a New York nightclub, Jazz Age speakeasies, suburban lawn parties and the occasional gaol cell, and are peopled by lovers and loners, barmen and chorus girls, youths taking their first sips and experienced tipplers nursing hangovers.

Whether living it up or drowning their sorrows, the vividly drawn characters in these sparkling pages will leave you shaken and stirred.

Stories from the Kitchen

Diana Secker Tesdell

Stories from the Kitchen is a mouth-watering smorgasbord of stories with food in the starring role, by a rich variety of authors from Dickens, Chekhov and Saki to Isak Dinesen, Jim Crace and Amy Tan. The menu includes choice titbits from famous novels: the triumphant boeuf en daube served in Virginia Woolf's To the Lighthouse, Proust's rhapsodic memories of watching the family cook prepare asparagus in Remembrance of Things Past, Zola's extravagant 'cheese symphony' scene from The Belly of Paris.

Here are over-the-top amuse-bouches by Gerald Durrell, Nora Ephron and T. C. Boyle; a short story by famous food writer M. F. K. Fisher; and a delightful account of the perfect meal by eighteenth-century epicure Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin, who famously said 'Tell me what you eat and I will tell you what you are.'

Stories of Art & Artists

Diana Secker Tesdell

Stories of Art and Artists gathers two centuries of stories from around the world. From Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “The Artist of the Beautiful” and Albert Camus’s “The Artist at Work” to Bernard Malamud’s “Rembrandt’s Hat” and Aimee Bender’s “The Color Master,” the tales collected here range from haunting fables about the power of art to vivid portraits of those who create.
Featured art forms include sculpture, pottery, architecture, miniatures, landscapes, portraits, and abstract painting, illumined in brilliant stories by such great writers as Honoré de Balzac, Hermann Hesse, Franz Kafka, Marguerite Yourcenar, John Berger, William Boyd, Doris Lessing, Valerie Martin, Julian Barnes, Orhan Pamuk, and A. S. Byatt. Writers have long been fascinated by the idea of artistic genius, the relationship between portraits and their subjects, the inspirational role of muses, and the effects on artists of ambition, failure, and success. Their dazzling literary evocations of the visual arts—using one art form to reflect on another—make Stories of Art and Artists an irresistible gift for lovers of art of all kinds.

Stories of Fatherhood

Diana Secker Tesdell

This wide-ranging anthology pays tribute to fathers young and old. At one end of the spectrum, a touching story by Ann Packer tells of a man preparing for the wonder and terror of his first child’s birth, and from Frank O’Connor’s comes a hilarious tale of a small boy’s war against his paternal rival in ‘My Oedipus Complex’. At the other, John Updike’s ‘My Father’s Tears’ and Jim Shepard’s ‘The Mortality of Parents’ bring us face to face with a loss that is like no other. Maupassant, Kakfa, Nabokov, Edith Wharton, Raymond Carver, Graham Swift, Julian Barnes, Helen Simpson …all these and more offer a wonderful assortment of fictional takes on the paternal bond.

Horse Stories

Diana Secker Tesdell

Horse Stories corrals two centuries of short fiction about the most majestic of domesticated animals. From writers old and new come stories of magnificent stallions, broken-down nags, racehorses, ponies, cowboy's steeds, workhorses, and beloved companions, in a wide variety of literary styles. Rudyard Kipling transports us the polo fields of India, Bret Harte to the ranches of the Wild West. Arthur Conan Doyle makes a famous thoroughbred disappear (or does he?), while Saki spins an amusing yarn about a notorious bolter. Isaac Babel tells of the horrors of war; Raymond Carver has a vision of runaway horses in the mist; Ted Hughes, Margaret Atwood and Jane Smiley explore the human passions horses can unleash. From the rollicking racetrack humour of Damon Runyon to the poignant lyricism of John Steinbeck, these stories testify to our varied and timeless fascination with the noblest of animals. A perfect gift.

Cat Stories

Diana Secker Tesdell

Playful kittens and ruthless predators, beloved pets and witches' familiars - cats of all kinds come alive in these stories. Maeve Brennan and Alice Adams movingly explore what cats can mean to their humans, while writers as varied as Patricia Highsmith and Fritz Leiber imagine the intriguingly alien feline point of view. Cats flaunt their undeniable superiority in Angela Carter's bawdy retelling of 'Puss-in-Boots' and Stephen Vincent Benét's uncanny 'The King of the Cats', while humour abounds in tales by comic masters P. G. Wodehouse and Saki. The essential unknowableness of cats inspires the most exotic flights of fancy: Calvino's secret city of cats in 'The Garden of Stubborn Cats', the disappearing animal in Ursula K. LeGuin's brain-teasing 'Schrödinger's Cat', the cartoon rodent and his cartoon nemesis in Steven Millhauser's 'Cat 'n' Mouse'. In these and other stories, this delightful anthology offers cat lovers a many-faceted tribute to the beguilingly mysterious objects of their affection.

Bedtime Stories

Diana Secker Tesdell

As Scheherazade proved long ago, good stories make the best bedtime entertainment. The tales collected here represent the essence of the storyteller's art, with its ancient roots in fantastical legends and tales told around a fire. From the surreal night visions of Nathaniel Hawthorne's 'Young Goodman Brown' to the unspeakable horror that haunts two little girls in A. S. Byatt's 'The Thing in the Forest', from Washington Irving's comical 'The Legend of Sleepy Hollow' to Ursula K. LeGuin's sly perspective on Sleeping Beauty in 'The Poacher', these spellbinding stories transform the stuff of fables and fairy tales into high art. Robert Louis Stevenson, H. G. Wells, Isak Dinesen, Vladimir Nabokov, Angela Carter, Haruki Murakami and many more mingle their voices in this one-volume gateway to dreams - the perfect bedside companion for fiction lovers everywhere

New York Stories

Diana Secker Tesdell

Writers have always been uniquely inspired by New York City, and the classic stories collected here provide a kaleidoscopic vision of the metropolis in all its grittiness and glamour. Acclaimed writers past and present, ranging from Truman Capote, Bernard Malamud, John Cheever and Shirley Jackson to Jay McInerney, Edwidge Danticat and Junot Diaz, introduce us to starry-eyed tourists and ambitious immigrants, starving artists and hedonistic yuppies, Jewish matchmakers in the Bronx and Haitian nannies in Central Park. Colourful characters of all kinds come alive in these pages, nursing their dreams in the tiny apartments, the lonely cafés, and the bustling streets of the city that never sleeps.

Dog Stories

Diana Secker Tesdell

The unforgettable canines gathered here include Kipling's heroically faithful 'Garm', Bret Harte's irrepressible scoundrel of a 'yaller dog' and the aggressively affectionate three-legged pit bull who lives in a block of flats for dogs in Jonathan Lethem's 'Ava's Apartment'. Here are stories which touchingly illuminate the dog's role in the emotional lives of humans, such as Tobias Wolff's 'Her Dog', where a widower shares his grief for his wife with her grieving pet. Here, too, are humorous glimpses of the canine point of view, from O. Henry's tale of a dissatisfied lapdog's escape to P. G. Wodehouse's cheerfully naïve watchdog who simply wants everybody to get along. These writers and others - Ray Bradbury, JamesThurber and Penelope Lively among them - offer imaginative, lyrical and empathetic portraits of man and woman's most devoted companion

Love Stories

Diana Secker Tesdell

Love Stories brings together a captivating assortment of short stories inspired by romantic entanglement in its many forms: first love, infatuation, obsession, unrequited love, marriage, adultery, jealousy, and the complicated bonds of those who have spent their lives together.
An array of writers evoke a variety of moods, from the raw, erotic passion of Lawrence and Colette to the wickedlycynical comedy of Dorothy Parker and Roald Dahl; from the agonizing madness of jealousy in Nabokov's 'That in Aleppo Once ...' to romantic illusions in Scott Fitzgerald's 'Winter Dreams'. Objects of passion range from a glamorous silent-movie star in Elizabeth Bowen's haunting 'Dead Mabelle' to a faithful ghost in Kawabata's 'Immortality' and a successful heart surgeon and serial husband in Margaret Atwood's 'Bluebeard's Egg'. Jhumpa Lahiri plumbs the depths of a couple sundered by tragedy while Lorrie Moore movingly portrays a husband and wife brought together by it.
Katherine Mansfield, Tobias Wolff and William Trevor explore the intricacies of long-term relationships, while Maupassant, Calvino and T. C. Boyle convey the elemental force of love in extremely different ways.
Together these nineteen stories make an enticing gift for lovers at any stage of life. Perfect for Valentine's Day.

Christmas Stories

Diana Secker Tesdell

As a literary subject, Christmas has inspired everything from intimate domestic dramas, to fanciful flights of the imagination, and the full range of its expression is represented in this wonderfully engaging collection. Goblins frolic in the graveyard of an early Dickens tale; a love-struck ghost disrupts a country estate in Elizabeth Bowen's 'Green Holly'; devils, witches, Cossacks and peasants cavort in Gogol's 'The Night Before Christmas'. The plight of the less fortunate haunts Chekhov's 'Vanka' and Willa Cather's 'The Burglar's Christmas', but takes a boisterously comic turn in Damon Runyon's 'Dancing Dan's Christmas' and John Cheever's 'Christmas is a Sad Season for the Poor'. From Nabokov's intensely moving story of a father's grief in 'Christmas' to Truman Capote's hilarious yet heartbreaking 'A Christmas Memory', from Grace Paley's Jewish girl in the Christmas pageant in 'The Loudest Voice' to the dysfunctional family ski holiday in Richard Ford's 'Creche' - each of the stories is imbued with Christmas spirit of one kind or another, and all are richly and indelibly entertaining.

Lullabies And Poems For Children

Diana Secker Tesdell

In this enchanting collection, favourite bed-time songs for children – 'Rock-a-bye, Baby', 'Bye, Baby Bunting', 'Golden Slumbers' – mingle with less familiar lullabies from around the world. Added to these are beautiful lyrics to sing or read to your little ones, from Brahms's 'Lullaby' to Gershwin's 'Summertime'; from Shakespeare's lullaby for the fairy queen Titania to Langston Hughes's lullaby for a 'night black baby'.

Here, too, are nursery rhymes, and poems for older children by a wide variety of authors – Walter de la Mare, Lewis Carroll, Edward Lear, T.S. Eliot and Ogden Nash, to name but a few. Whether the intent is to soothe or to amuse, there is something here for every mood, every child, and the child in every adult.

Biography

Editor:
Diana Secker Tesdell is the editor of the Everyman Dog Stories, Cat Stories, Love Stories, Christmas Stories, Stories of Motherhood and Stories of the Sea.