An anthology of literary love stories—in a beautiful hardcover Pocket Classics edition—perfect for Valentine’s Day.
Here are nineteen stories from a rich array of writers. The objects of passion in these stories range from a glamorous silent-movie starlet in Elizabeth Bowen’s haunting “Dead Mabelle” and a faithful ghost in Yasunari Kawabata’s “Immortality” to a heart surgeon in Margaret Atwood’s “Bluebeard’s Egg” who spends his days penetrating the mysteries of the human heart but who seems oddly emotionally opaque himself. Jhumpa Lahiri plumbs the despair of a husband and wife sundered by tragedy while Lorrie Moore movingly portrays a couple brought together by it. Katherine Mansfield, Tobias Wolff, and William Trevor explore the intricacies of long-term relationships, while Guy de Maupassant, Italo Calvino, and T. C. Boyle portray the elemental force of love in extremely different ways.
As alluring, moving, and intoxicating as its timeless theme, this collection makes an enticing gift for lovers at any stage of life.
Published in 2009.
As Scheherezade proved long ago, good stories make the best bedtime entertainment. The tales collected here represent the essence of the storyteller’s art, with its ancient roots in fantastical legends and tales told around a fire.
In Bedtime Stories, great writers of the past two centuries explore the boundaries between the real and the unreal, between waking and dreaming. From the surreal night visions of Nathaniel Hawthorne’s “Young Goodman Brown” to the unspeakable horror that haunts two little girls in A. S. Byatt’s “The Thing in the Forest,” from Washington Irving’s comical “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” to Ursula K. LeGuin’s sly perspective on Sleeping Beauty in “The Poacher,” these spellbinding stories transform the stuff of fables and fairy tales into high art.
Isak Dinesen, Vladimir Nabokov, Angela Carter, Julio Cortázar, Steven Millhauser, Neil Gaiman, Haruki Murakami, and many more mingle their voices in this one-volume gateway to dreams–the perfect bedside companion for fiction lovers everywhere.
Published in 2011.
The chilling classic stories gathered here offer a remarkable variety of approaches to the theme of haunting. Revenge comes from beyond the grave in Robert Louis Stevenson’s “The Body-Snatcher,” while visions of the dead come between the living in Henry James’s “The Friends of the Friends.” P. G. Wodehouse gives us a farcical take on the haunted house in “Honeysuckle Cottage,” and in L. P. Hartley’s “W.S.,” a writer is fatally stalked by his own aggrieved creation.
Here are ghosts of every stripe and intent in stories from writers as varied as Elizabeth Bowen and Jorge Luis Borges, Eudora Welty and Vladimir Nabokov, Ray Bradbury and Edith Wharton, among others. In the hands of these masters, the ghost story ranges far beyond mere horror to encompass comedy and tragedy, pathos and drama, and even a touch of poetry.
Published in 2008.
Beginning with modern masters such as Sara Paretsky, Ruth Rendell, and Ian Rankin, this collection works its way back through the golden age of the 1920s and ’30s to the genre’s source in Edgar Allan Poe and Arthur Conan Doyle. The famous detectives who stalk these pages range from the brilliant and eccentric (Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and Poe’s C. Auguste Dupin) to the deceptively unlikely (G. K. Chesterton’s humble priest, Father Brown; and Agatha Christie’s tweedy spinster, Miss Marple); from the tough-guy private eyes created by Dashiell Hammett and Raymond Chandler to accidental bystanders, such as the perceptive neighbors in Susan Glaspell’s haunting “A Jury of Her Peers.”
From classic whodunits featuring Erle Stanley Gardner’s Perry Mason and Georges Simenon’s Inspector Maigret to Jorge Luis Borges’s postmodern tribute to Poe in “Death and the Compass,” the stories in this volume will tantalize, perplex, and amaze.
Published in 2009.
London has the greatest literary tradition of any city in the world. Its roll call of storytellers includes cultural giants like Shakespeare, Defoe, and Dickens, and an innumerable host of writers of all sorts who sought to capture the essence of the place.
Acclaimed historian Jerry White has collected some twenty-six stories to illustrate the extraordinary diversity of both London life and writing over the past four centuries, from Shakespeare’s day to the present.
These are stories of fact and fiction and occasionally something in between, some from well-known voices and others practically unknown. Here are dramatic views of such iconic events as the plague, the Great Fire of London, and the Blitz, but also William Thackeray’s account of going to see a man hanged, Thomas De Quincey’s friendship with a teenaged prostitute, and Doris Lessing’s defense of the Underground.
This literary London encompasses the famous Baker Street residence of Conan Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes and the bombed-out moonscape of Elizabeth Bowen’s wartime streets, Charles Dicken’s treacherous River Thames and Frederick Treves’s tragic Elephant Man. Graham Greene, Jean Rhys, Muriel Spark, and Hanif Kureishi are among the many great writers who give us their varied Londons here, revealing a city of boundless wealth and ragged squalor, of moving tragedy and riotous joy.
Published in 2014.
Paris Stories gathers classic stories about the City of Light by a wide range of writers across four centuries.
Perhaps no other European city has so captured the imagination of the artistically and romantically minded. Laurence Sterne explores the temptations of the French capital in a teasing study of foreign mores, and Restif de la Bretonne provides an eyewitness account of the horrors and glories of the French Revolution.
Hugo, Balzac, Flaubert, and Zola offer fascinating portraits of the growing metropolis’s teeming humanity; the Goncourt brothers chronicle its glittering literary circles; and Huysmans describes a memorable evening at the Folies Bergère. Colette recounts the sensual adventures of a young girl in the decadent Paris of the early twentieth century, while F. Scott Fitzgerald revels in its urban glamour. Jean Rhys’s lost heroines wander from café to café, James Baldwin celebrates the city, and Raymond Queneau gleefully reinvents the language of the street.
In more recent decades, Michel Tournier’s North African immigrant walks a camel along the boulevards and Nobel laureate Patrick Modiano nostalgically maps the famed Parisian arrondissements. Theatrical and elegant, seamy and intellectual, Paris has never lost its alluring power, richly evoked in these compelling and seductive tales.
Published on 1 March 2016.
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.
Fishing Stories nets an abundant catch of wonderful writing in a wide variety of genres and styles. The moods range from the rollicking humor of Rudyard Kipling’s “On Dry-Cow Fishing as a Fine Art” and the rural gothic of Annie Proulx’s “The Wer-Trout” to the haunting elegy of Norman Maclean’s “A River Runs Through It.”
Many of these tales celebrate human bonds forged over a rod, including Guy de Maupassant’s “Two Friends,” Jimmy Carter’s “Fishing with My Daddy,” and an excerpt from Ernest Hemingway’s The Garden of Eden. Some deal in reverence and romance, as in Roland Pertwee’s “The River God,” and some in adventure and the stuff of legend, as in Zane Grey’s “The First Thousand-Pounder” and Ron Rash’s “Their Ancient Glittering Eyes.” There are narratives that confront head-on the heartbreaks and frustrations of the sport, from Thomas McGuane’s meditation on long spells of inaction as the essence of fishing in “The Longest Silence” to Raymond Carver’s story of a boy’s deflated triumph in the gut-wrenching masterpiece “Nobody Said Anything.” And alongside the works of literary giants are the memories of people both great and humble who have found meaning and fulfillment in fishing, from a former American president to a Scottish gamekeeper’s daughter.
Whether set against the open ocean or tiny mountain streams, in ancient China, tropical Tahiti, Paris under siege, or the vast Canadian wilderness, these stories cast wide and strike deep into the universal joys, absurdities, insights, and tragedies of life.
This beautiful hardcover edition features seven original woodcut illustrations by Paul Gentry, and includes a silk ribbon marker, European-style half-round spine, and full-cloth case with two-color foil stamping.
Published in 2013.
A murderer is forced to reveal his crime by the sound of a beating heart, a mysterious figure wreaks havoc among a party of noblemen during the time of the plague, a grieving lover awakens to find himself clutching a box of his beloved blood-stained teeth, a man is obsessed with the fear of being buried alive - these are only some of the memorable characters and stories included in this volume, which exemplify Poe' s inventiveness and natural talent as a storyteller.
Immensely popular both during and after his lifetime, and a powerful influence on generations of writers and film-makers to this day, Edgar Allan Poe is still counted among the greatest short-story writers of all time and seen as one of the initiators of the detective, horror and science-fiction genres.
Published on 22 September 2016.
When the Americans Mr and Mrs Otis and their four children move into Canterville Chase, its previous occupant Lord Canterville warns them that the ghost of his ancestor still haunts the house.
Their disbelief is soon shattered by the nightly sound of rattling chains in the hallways and the appearance of mysterious bloodstains in the living room. However, the ghost struggles to intimidate his new victims, as they counter his ghoulish behaviour with typically transatlantic pragmatism, offering lubricator for his chains and cleaning up the stains with detergent.
As the spirit is deserted by his capacity to scare, Virginia, the Otises' daughter, gets to know him and learns the tragic tale behind his sad fate.Sparkling with his trademark wit, this classic tale is one of Oscar Wilde's finest stories and is presented here with three other comic mystery stories, 'Lord Arthur Savile's Crime', 'The Sphinx without a Secret' and 'The Model Millionaire', all of which were first published together in 1891.
Published on 17 November 2016.