'Bowen's stories are novels that have been split open like rocks and reveal the glitter of the naked crystals which have formed them' Vogue
SELECTED AND WITH A NEW INTRODUCTION BY TESSA HADLEY
A girl shares her secret den. A couple stroll through a ruined city. A man walks into a ladies' hat shop. A teacher dreams of killing her pupil.
Spanning the 1920s to the post-war years, this new selection brings Elizabeth Bowen's finest short stories together for the first time. Elegant and subtle, they showcase Bowen's ability to evoke ineffable emotions - grief, nostalgia, self-consciousness, dread - and combine remarkable psychological insight with vivid settings, from the countryside of Bowen's native Ireland to the streets of her London home after the Blitz.
Encompassing characters from many walks of life and a vast array of moods, these are intricate journeys of domesticity and discovery, of the homely and uncanny, of the mind and body.
Bowen's stories show the awesome capabilities of the English language and the surprise and mystery of the human soul ― Anne Tyler
Bowen's stories are novels that have been split open like rocks and reveal the glitter of the naked crystals which have formed them ― Vogue
Like Woolf, like Spark, her language is clear but her effects complex, creating shimmering reflections of reality, her world recognisable but just out of reach ― Guardian
A judiciously chosen selection of stories that showcases the brilliance of Elizabeth Bowen throughout her career. Tessa Hadley's illuminating and affectionate introduction positions Bowen firmly where she belongs - as one of the most remarkable writers of short stories in any era. -- Julia Parry, author of The Shadowy Third: Love, Letters, and Elizabeth Bowen
About the Author
Elizabeth Bowen was born in Dublin in 1899, the only child of an Irish lawyer and landowner. She travelled a great deal, dividing most of her time between London and Bowen's Court, the family house in County Cork which she inherited. Her first book, a collection of short stories, Encounters, was published in 1923. The Hotel (1927) was her first novel. She was awarded the CBE in 1948, and received honorary degrees from Trinity College, Dublin in 1949, and from Oxford University in 1956. The Royal Society of Literature made her a Companion of Literature in 1965. She died in 1973.
Tessa Hadley is the author of seven highly praised novels, Accidents in the Home, which was longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, Everything Will Be All Right, The Master Bedroom, The London Train, Clever Girl, The Past, Late in the Day and three collections of stories, Sunstroke, Married Love and Bad Dreams. She won a Windham-Campbell prize for Fiction in 2016, The Past won the Hawthornden Prize for 2016, and Bad Dreams won the 2018 Edge Hill Short Story Prize. Her stories appear regularly in the New Yorker.