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The Darts of Cupid: Stories by Edith…

The Darts of Cupid: Stories (2002)

by Edith Templeton

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Sometimes I wondered whether he had not chosen the Merry Widow because she had crinkly red hair, freckles, a bony face, and small dark eyes, the same as he - just as people choose dogs whose masks resemble their own features. But I knew this was an idle conceit of mine.
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In The Darts of Cupid, Edith Templeton, now eighty-seven, gives us a sweeping and intimate expose of her century, and of the lives of women caught in the historic and personal contingencies it engendered. The unforgettable title story was celebrated upon its original publication in The New Yorker for its explicit portrayal of the relationship between a young British woman and her American superior in a provincial war office during World War II a love affair that lasted only two nights but changed the narrator's life forever, and is still haunting today, more than thirty years after the story was written. Other stories take us from the tumbledown glamour of a Bohemian castle between the wars to an apartment on the coast of Italy in the 1990s, where a rich widow's decision to sell her husband's prized silver becomes a bewitching tale of longing. In the same elegant and understated voice that brought us the extraordinary novel, Gordon, Edith Templeton presents us with a lost world in all its heartbreaking detail. This book is the record of a unique sensibility: whatever the period, Templeton addresses the truth about female passion with a forthright gaze that is rare for any age.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0375421599, Hardcover)

As a girl in 1920s Prague, Edith Templeton caused a scandal by writing a school essay about how well-heated her private academy was--during a coal strike. This turned out to be a predictive event: Templeton's fiction illuminates the political by way of the intensely personal. In the title story of the exquisite collection The Darts of Cupid, a young woman's love affair is shaped by the tragedies of World War II. (This particular piece is so personal that upon its 1968 publication in The New Yorker, it made history as the most explicit story ever published by that magazine.) Templeton's stories are filled with acid-tongued girls, cynical older men, and frighteningly acute observations, such as "malice is the luxury of underlings." Bitterly funny and steeped in modern history, The Darts of Cupid places Templeton squarely in the company of Maeve Brennan and Sybille Bedford. These recently rediscovered midcentury women writers made unflinching fiction. --Claire Dederer

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:49 -0400)

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Edith Templeton, now 87, gives us a sweeping and intimate expose of her century, and of the lives of women caught in the historic and personal contingencies it engendered.

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