This volume contains sixteen examples of the English short story at its best: immediately captivating and hugely entertaining.
Some stories are classics, such as James Joyce’s ‘The Dead’; others – like ‘Mr Loveday’s Little Outing’ by Evelyn Waugh – are relatively unknown and a joy to discover. The collection also includes Charles Dickens’ premonitory tale, ‘The Signalman’ which was inspired by his own horrific experiences in a train crash. Katherine Mansfield’s ‘The Voyage’, meanwhile, is a sensual narrative centring on a boat journey and set in her native New Zealand. Virginia Woolf’s ‘Kew Gardens’ is different again, dramatically evoking its setting, awash with colour and light.
Tragic or comic, traditional or modernist, each and every piece demonstrates perfectly how the short story form can be as engaging and satisfying as a novel, if not more so.