The Garden Party and Other Stories

Book: The Garden Party and Other Stories, by Katherine Mansfield

Genre: Short stories

Where I got it: The Open Door (secondhand bookshop)

Briefly, it’s  a collection of short stories which do not revolve around plot.  Each one is more like a portrait, which draws the reader in by understatement and intimation.  Mansfield “concentrate(s) on one moment, a crisis or a turning point, rather than on a sequence of events” (Goodreads author page).  This is the opposite of “in your face” writing – it is delicate, profound, and most definitely calls for a second reading.  The eight short pages of “The Lady’s Maid”, the last story in this collection, have painted a picture in my mind to which I will return many times.

Anything else: I hadn’t read anything by Katherine Mansfield since school, when one of her stories was on the English curriculum.  (I think it was “The Fly”, which is not in this book).  I didn’t know that she was born and grew up in New Zealand, I thought she was English.


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