This Christmas, bask in these ‘diminutive masterpieces’ (Guardian) by the English genius behind Lolly Willowes.
“One of our finest writers.” — Neil Gaiman
“One of the most shamefully under-read great British authors of the past 100 years. ” — Sarah Waters
“Diminutive masterpieces … Hand yourself over to be enchanted.” — Guardian
“Extraordinary, lucid wildness.” — Helen MacDonald
Decades after her divorce, a lady returns to the village of her tumultuous marriage. A railway carriage hosts a charged schoolboy encounter. A murder raises fears of blackmail. A woman waits anxiously in a café before eloping to Paris. Another steals a friend’s kitchen knife.
In these bittersweet tales, the author of Lolly Willowes reveals her mastery of the short story, celebrated by the New Yorker for decades. Sylvia Townsend Warner is a tragicomic chronicler of the heart’s entanglements, from marriages and affairs to widowhood; and a champion of outsiders, whether single women, the elderly or wartime refugees.
Witty and subversive, her stories meld tradition and transgression, with secret sins and fetishes as much a feature of English life as eccentric aunts, country houses and parish churches.