Two centuries of literary homages to the fascinating feline: stories by writers of every stripe—from P.G. Wodehouse to Doris Lessing, from Damon Runyon to Steven Millhauser.
The essential unknowableness of cats has inspired many flights of fancy: Italo Calvino’s secret city of cats in “The Garden of Stubborn Cats,” the disappearing feline in Ursula K. Le Guin’s mind-twisting “Schrödinger’s Cat,” the cartoon rodent and his cartoon nemesis in Steven Millhauser’s “Cat ’n’ Mouse.” Cats flaunt their superiority in Angela Carter’s bawdy retelling of “Puss-in-Boots” and in Stephen Vincent Benét’s “The King of the Cats,” in which two impossibly suave foreigners are revealed as even more exotic than they pretend to be.
In “The Islands” by Alice Adams and “I See You, Bianca” by Maeve Brennan we see how much cats can mean to their humans. And the inimitable Saki lets us hear what cats really think of us in “Tobermory,” his tale of a tactless talking animal.
Published in 2011.
Published by: Everyman's Library
It's the midsummer ball at Oxford, and a group of men and women - friends since university days - have gathered under the stars. Included in this group is David Crimond, a genius and fervent Marxist.
Years earlier the friends had persuaded David to write a philosophical and political book on their behalf. But opinions and loyalties have changed, and on this summer evening the long-resting ghosts of the past come careering back into the present.
Published in 2003.
When Charles Arrowby retires from his glittering career in the London theatre, he buys a remote house on the rocks by the sea. He hopes to escape from his tumultuous love affairs but unexpectedly bumps into his childhood sweetheart and sets his heart on destroying her marriage.
His equilibrium is further disturbed when his friends all decide to come and keep him company and Charles finds his seaside idyll severely threatened by his obsessions.
Published in 1999.
Gyuri, a fourteen-year-old Hungarian Jew, gets the day off school to witness his father signing over the family timber business - his final act before being sent to a labour camp. Two months later, Gyuri finds himself assigned to a 'permanent workplace'. This is the start of his journey to Auschwitz.
On his arrival Gyuri finds that he is unable to identify with other Jews, and is rejected by them. An outsider among his own people, his estrangement makes him a preternaturally acute observer, dogmatically insisting on making sense of the barbarity - and beauty - he witnesses.
Published in 2017.