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The Collected Stories of Jean Stafford by…
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The Collected Stories of Jean Stafford

by Jean Stafford

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288764,304 (3.48)31
The innocents abroad: Maggie Meriwether's rich experience -- The children's game -- The echo and the nemesis -- The maiden -- A modest proposal -- Caveat emptor. The Bostonians, and other manifestations of the American scene: Life is no abyss -- The hope chest -- Polite conversation -- A country love story -- The bleeding heart -- The Lippia lawn -- The interior castle. Cowboys and Indians, and magic mountains: The healthiest girl in town -- The tea time of Stouthearted ladies -- The mountain day -- The darkening moon -- Bad characters -- In the zoo -- The liberation -- A reading problem -- A summer day -- The philosophy lesson. Manhattan Island: Children are bored on Sunday -- Beatrice Trueblood's story -- Between the porch and the altar -- I love someone -- Cops and robbers -- The captain's gift -- The end of a career.… (more)

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» See also 31 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Pretentious, over-written, effete exercises in self-important "Chick Lit." ( )
  DMatty5 | Feb 28, 2016 |
Her stories remind me of a crisp autumn day, where everything is beautiful but twisted and cold and dying at the same time. It’s my favorite kind of weather. Most of all I love “Children Are Bored On Sunday," which makes me miss autumn in New York. The season, not the terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad movie. ( )
  amelish | Sep 12, 2013 |
I discovered Jean Stafford this year with the NYRB reissue of The Mountain Lion, an extremely disturbing novel which became one of my favorites of the year. So I immediately bought this collection of her stories, and at first was very disappointed in it. The first groups of stories -- they're arranged roughly by locale, with the first set in Europe, then Boston, then the west, and then (partly) New York -- didn't interest me; they seemed dated, overwritten, over-explained. Finally, most of the ones set in the west grabbed me, and the final New York store (which actually takes place in Maine) is stunning.

In a collection this size, it is not surprising that some stories are better than others. At the same time, the size makes Stafford's themes clear: unhappy children and women/wives, children without their families, children with monstrous parents, children who are alienated from their families, the hypocrisy and smallness of many people's lives and interests, the desire if not always the opportunity to escape, illness as an escape, drinking to escape, loneliness, and psychological suffering. Clearly, Stafford was not happy herself, especially in her marriage to Robert Lowell, as the introduction by Joyce Carol Oates makes clear.
  rebeccanyc | Dec 31, 2010 |
1103 The Collected Stories of Jean Stafford (read 24 Jan 1971) (Pulitzer Fiction prize in 1970) So many of the stories in this book only sort of end, but she is very deft, of course. I suppose the story that I was most impressed by was "The Bleeding Heart," which tells of a Mexican girl in Boston who is neighbor to a nut. The only reason I read the book was because it won the Pulitzer fiction prize in 1970. Now I've read all the Pulitzer fiction winners. [This is still true today, 2009.] ( )
  Schmerguls | May 25, 2009 |
One of our all time great short story writers, includes such classics as "A Country Love Story" and "Life is No Abyss". A gem of a collection. ( )
  downstreamer | Jul 28, 2008 |
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