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The garden party Paperback – September 4, 2010
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In the title story, Mansfield concentrates on young Laura Sheridan on the afternoon of her family's garden party. The story follows the family through the preparations--flags to identify the different sandwiches, the delivery of cream puffs, the setting up of a marquee on the lawn. This perfect idyll is broken, however, by news of a fatal accident down the lane. A young workman has been killed, leaving a wife and five children. Into Laura's perfect Eden, death comes whispering and her reaction to it is both subtle and surprising. In fact, many of Mansfield's stories feature young women on the brink of adulthood--facing, for the first time, the realities of their constricted lives. Love is a trap; childbearing is another; death can be "simply marvellous." Mansfield died in 1923 of tuberculosis, leaving behind a body of work that is as bold, unconventional, and modern as she was. The Garden Party and Other Stories is a fitting epitaph. --Alix Wilber --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From Library Journal
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Top Customer Reviews
The Table of Contents is poorly done here, and often only part of the TOC is readable. But don't let that stop you from enjoying these stories from an eminent writer.
Here are the stories, with the Kindle location, so you can jump right to any story in the book.
1. At the Bay (Location: 47)
2. The Garden Party (Location: 764)
3. The Daughters of the Late Colonel (Location: 1074)
4. Mr. and Mrs. Dove (Location: 1501)
5. The Young Girl (Location: 1657)
6. Life of Ma Parker (Location: 1789)
7. Marriage À La Mode (Location: 1921)
8. The Voyage (Location: 2137)
9. Miss Brill (Location: 2299)
10. Her First Ball (Location: 2385)
11. The Singing Lesson (Location: 2511)
12. The Stranger (Location: 2612)
13. Bank Holiday (Location: 2872)
14. An Ideal Family (Location: 2934)
15. The Lady's Maid (Location: 3063)
She is most often compared to Chekhov, and it's not difficult to see why. I truly believe that Mansfield innovated and practically invented the English (language) short story.
Her writing is distinctly impressionist in flavour. Sentences broken and stories only half complete. But she writes beautifully, often echoing her impending death from TB. An outsider with her sexuality in how she experimented including a brief pretence of motherhood and her spirituality. She attended Gurdjieff's centre and was obviously fond of the pragmatism of certain Eastern traditions compared to the prevailing cult.
But she only reveals so much in her writing. So much remaining unsaid. Happy stories like "Bliss" and funny stories like "The school mistress". So many details from life at the time like ships, parties, schools, courtship, and the lives of ordinary people from the well bred elites to the downtrodden poor. Mansfield frequently displays a sympathy for the underdog and cries out about the transience of things and the lack of stability in pleasure - vaguely Buddhist even ... But her stories are yet so English with glimpses of her native New Zealand from which she was divorced. She write well about the dazzle of things like summer or flowers, children, sounds and people - everything highlighted.Read more ›
I didn't love all the stories in this collection, but so many of them touched me very deeply. For me, short stories are so, so dependent on the characters and the author's language. There aren't enough pages for a strong plot to develop, and so the most capable storytellers (in my opinion) focus on providing us a vivid portrait of their characters. I soon came to realize that this is a very melancholy set of stories. Many of the characters are older women. Several have lived their lives in the service of others and now realize that they are alone and terribly lonely. Others center on a couple, and the terrible moment that can arrive, unexpectedly, that makes you realize how little you know the other person. Some are about young girls, on the cusp of adulthood, and realizing that it is very bittersweet. Only a few are told from a man's point of view, but they are devastating in their emotional impact.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Perfect definition of characters, settings and plot. I really enjoy her mastery of the language, in fact she manages to convey a myriad of emotions, thoughts, feelings in just one... Read morePublished 14 days ago by ADRIANA
A wonderful collection from a fantastic writer. Loved it. Felt it. She has a fabulous way of dropping you right in the action and leaving you thinking at the end!Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
Some of the stories were a bit confusing and I never figured out what the point of the story was.Published 11 months ago by Jane L McKeon
These were written for a time when things were different, so you must read them with that in mind.
Times were different, but people deep down inside are still the same. Read more
I did not want some of the stories to end. I wanted to know what happened next! I admire her easy style and fear it is inimitable. Great storyteller.
From a slower gentler era. No wonder the spinsters of those days were odd, they barely existed poor things. Nowadays it would be termed abuse.Published 17 months ago by Judith Veerkamp - Cox