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Published: 12 Sep 2012
Rowan Pelling (Edited by)A perfect gift of timeless erotic stories ranging from ancient Greek myth to modern stories of longing and lust. This beautifully jacketed Everyman's Library Pocket Classics hardcover anthology has a full-cloth binding and silk ribbon marker. Accounts of ardour and transgression also flow from unexpected pens: an astonishingly explicit scene from an unfinished novel by Edith Wharton, and Guy de Maupassant's heated tale of a young peasant woman offering her breast to a starving stranger on a train. Hunger is the fierce undercurrent to these stories: the gnawing lust of one lover for another, or the greedy pursuit of a particular inclination. The elegant depravity of an eighteenth-century French aristocrat, the dreamlike seductions of an Egyptian jinni in the form of a snake, the brutal anonymity of a highway truck-stop encounter--the stories in this richly varied collection reveal that the urge to articulate sexual desire is as inventive as it is timeless.
Published: 21 Nov 2013
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.
Published: 7 Jul 2016
Published: 30 Sep 2011
Fishing Stories nets an abundant catch of wonderful writing in a wide variety of genres and styles. The moods range from the rollicking humour of Rudyard Kipling’s “On Dry-Cow Fishing as a Fine Art” and the rural gothic of Annie Proulx’s “The Wer-Trout” to the haunting elegy of Norman Maclean’s “A River Runs Through It.”
Many of these tales celebrate human bonds forged over a rod, including Guy de Maupassant’s “Two Friends,” Jimmy Carter’s “Fishing with My Daddy,” and Ernest Hemingway’s The Garden of Eden. Some deal in reverence and romance, as in Roland Pertwee’s “The River God,” and some in adventure and the stuff of legend, as in Zane Grey’s “The First Thousand-Pounder” and Ron Rash’s “Their Ancient Glittering Eyes.” There are works that confront head-on the heartbreaks and frustrations of the sport, from Thomas McGuane’s meditation on long spells of inaction as the essence of fishing in “The Longest Silence” to Raymond Carver on a boy’s deflated triumph in the gut-wrenching masterpiece “Nobody Said Anything.” And alongside the works of literary giants are the memories of people both great and humble who have found meaning and fulfillment in fishing, from a former American president to a Scottish gamekeeper’s daughter.
Whether set against the open ocean or tiny mountain streams, in ancient China, tropical Tahiti, Paris under siege, or the vast Canadian wilderness, these stories cast wide and strike deep into the universal joys, absurdities, insights, and tragedies of life.
Published: 22 Feb 2013
In 1956 John Updike wrote a short story about newly-weds Joan and Richard Maple. Over the next two decades he returned to this couple again and again, tracking their years together as they raise children and deal with the heartbreak of infidelity and estrangement. Gathered here for the first time in hardcover - and with the addition of a later story, 'Grandparenting', that shows us the Maples after their divorce - THE MAPLES STORIES offers a nuanced portrait of two deeply flawed but moving characters and their entwined lives.
'Though the Maples stories trace the decline and fall of a marriage, they also illumine a history in many ways happy, of growing children and a million mundane moments shared. That a marriage ends is less than ideal; but all things end under heaven, and if temporality is held to be invalidating, then nothing really succeeds. The moral of these stories is that all blessings are mixed.'
- From the Foreword by John Updike
Published: 26 Jun 2009
Published: 4 Feb 2016
Published: 4 Sep 2014
Published: 26 Mar 2010
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.
Published: 5 Feb 2009
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.'
Published: 15 Oct 2015
Charles McGrath (Edited by)Here are literary classics by such golf-loving writers as P. G. Wodehouse, Ring Lardner, and John Updike, mixed with surprises like an appearance by Ian Fleming's James Bond and a little crime on the links from mystery master Ian Rankin. Humorists and sportswriters ranging from E. C. Bentley to Dan Jenkins and Rick Reilly weigh in as well, alongside a tale of romance on the greens from F. Scott Fitzgerald, a little-known gem by famous golf architect A. W. Tillinghast, and a story by Rex Lardner (Ring's nephew) that just may be the single funniest thing ever written about golf. The resulting anthology is as enticing, provocative, and entertaining as the game of golf itself.
Tales about ghosts are as old as human culture itself but the ghost story as a distinguished literary form reached its apogee in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. As traditional religions declined in the West during those years, people looked for new ways of describing the spiritual realities explained by religion. The ghost story is a literary expression of this need, its rise corresponding to the growing popularity of Spiritualism. Ghost stories balance the increasingly powerful scientific materialism of the age with intimations that there are other orders of experience which we cannot define and only glimpse.
The Everyman selection of ghost stories includes examples from this period by major writers such as Robert Louis Stevenson, Guy de Maupassant, Henry James and Edith Wharton. M. R. James is featured as a specialist in the genre. Later writers include Elizabeth Bowen, Penelope Lively and Ray Bradbury.
One feature of this collection is to show that there is more to the ghost story than the thrill of horror, important though that is. These stories include comedy and tragedy, pathos, drama and even poetry. Each is a masterpiece in its own right, irrespective of whether or not we believe in the realm of spectres.
Published: 6 Nov 2008
London has the greatest literary tradition of any city in the world. Its roll-call of story-tellers includes cultural giants who changed the way the world thought about writing, like Shakespeare, Defoe and Dickens. But there has also been an innumerable host of writers who have sought to capture the essence of London and what it meant for the people who lived there or were merely passing through. They found a city of boundless wealth and ragged squalor, of moving tragedy and riotous joy; and they faithfully transcribed what they saw and felt in the stories they told of London town.
They are stories of fact and fiction and occasionally something in between. Some voices will be familiar to many readers and others practically unknown. But all give us insights into these writers’ very varied Londons; and all tell their stories gratifyingly well.
Authors include John Evelyn, Thomas de Quincey, W. M. Thackeray, Henry Mayhew, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, George Gissing, J. B. Priestley, Jean Rhys, Graham Greene, Muriel Spark, Maeve Binchy, Doris Lessing, Hanif Kureishi and Shena Mackay.
Published: 27 Mar 2013
Published: 2 Mar 2017
Published: 6 Apr 2017
Published: 29 Oct 2010