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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
Published: 25 Mar 2011
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: 12 Sep 2012
Published: 8 Nov 2007
Published: 4 Feb 2016
Published: 25 Apr 2014
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
Published: 2 Mar 2017
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.
Published: 4 Sep 2014
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
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
Diana Secker-Tesdell (Edited by)In this beautifully packaged anthology A. S. Byatt, Alice Munro, Elizabeth Bowen, Sherwood Anderson, Edith Wharton, Anita Desai, Colm Tóibín, Lorrie Moore and many others reflect upon all aspects of motherhood in stories lyrical and satirical, realistic and fantastic, hilarious and heartbreaking. Here at last is a gift-book that is neither sentimental nor 'inspirational', offering instead high-quality literary fiction which will continue to entertain long after the chocolates have been eaten and the flowers thrown away.
Published: 8 Mar 2012