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.
Published by: Everyman's Library
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.
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.
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.