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The Oxford Book of Modern Women's Stories [Hardcover]

Patricia Craig
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

8 Sep 1994
Some of the greatest short stories of the twentieth century have been written by women, yet they are consistently under represented in fiction anthologies. The Oxford Book of Modern Women's Stories aims to redress the balance by bringing together some of the best women's writing from such acclaimed practitioners as Katherine Mansfield and Edith Wharton and more recent work from exciting and innovative authors such as Bharati Mukherjee, Alice Munro and Anjana Appachana. Along the way you will find humour, passion, eccentricity, forcefulness, elan, intellectual vigour, subversion - indeed, every kind of literary expertise from ironic detachment to full-blooded engagement with the issues raised. Every one of the authors represented here has her own, perfectly realized, individual angle of vision, whether it's the zestfulness of Angela Carter, the breathtaking evocations of Eudora Welty, the quirkiness of Paley, or the pungency of Flannery O'Connor. These are writers engaging with many different genres, including the fairy tale, ghost stories, and historical fiction, as well as domestic drama and more abstract introspection. There are examples here of English decorum and American verve - and vice versa - indeed, such an abundance of entertainment and enrichment that no reader will fail to be amused, enthralled, intrigued, or invigorated.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 537 pages
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press; First Edition edition (8 Sep 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0192142321
  • ISBN-13: 978-0192142320
  • Product Dimensions: 23.1 x 14.2 x 4.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,728,648 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
  • See Complete Table of Contents

Product Description


"a selection of beautifully crafted, quality pieces" -- The Times

"some of the best short stories of the twentieth century" -- Sunday Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

About the Editor: Patricia Craig is the editor of The Oxford Book of English Detective Stories, The Penguin Book of British Comic Stories, and many other fine anthologies.

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First Sentence
It was Paul's afternoon to appear before the faculty of the Pittsburgh High School to account for his various misdemeanours. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Well planned but a mixed bag 16 Feb 2012
By Kate Hopkins TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
As always with short story collections, I felt that this one was a little bit of a mixed bag: there were some excellent stories, but quite a few that I found disapppointing, and at times a little dry. I probably read too many at a sitting. For a coverage of the 20th century in terms of women's fiction Craig does a good job: a lot of top writers (Willa Cather, Edith Wharton, Katherine Mansfield, Jean Rhys, Elizabeth Bowen, Sylvia Plath, Olivia Manning and on to Jane Gardam, A.S. Byatt, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala, Doris Lessing and Amy Tan are there). As always, I felt there were some writers I'd have liked to have seen in who weren't around - Rebecca West and Rosamond Lehmann in the earlier sections, and Margaret Drabble, Julia O'Faolain and Penelope Fitzgerald in the later spring to mind (though maybe Fitzgerald hadn't published much when this book came out in the way of short stories?). But as far as choice of writers go I think Craig did a very good job. My main criticism was the very gloomy nature of quite a lot of the stories (though not all) - I also wondered if she'd always represented the writers quite fairly in her choice. The Edith Wharton short story, for example (and indeed the Cather) would have put me off both writers if I hadn't known their novels first, both due to their gloom and in the case of the Wharton to the fact I didn't feel the story quite worked. The Christina Stead reads (as indeed it was) like a rough draft for a chapter of a novel - and I'm afraid I couldn't make sense of the Stevie Smith at all (I think I prefer her as a poet). The Elizabeth Bowen was one of the writer's most miserable, and the A.S. Byatt one of her driest. Read more ›
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.0 out of 5 stars  2 reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars an outstanding collection of excellent stories 4 July 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
This book is a real treasure. It's an excellent introduction to these writers and I've gone on to read more by several of them because of this book. The stories are captivating and powerful. I enjoyed this collection a great deal.
1 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars "The depressed writing about the depressing" 19 Jun 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I overcame my natural recluctance to purchase this book, a collection based solely on the gender of the authors. The reviews looked so promising.
I (as a woman) dont care about the gender or anything else of the writer - a good story is a good story.
This is a dreadful collection, which in no way lived up to the "non customer" reviews. I love short stories and have a collection which far exceeds the local library, but this book will soon be given away, with a suitable warning attached.
I read each piece, sighed, then hoped the next one would be better. I was sadly disappointed.
Another collection (of travel stories) by the same editor is better, but still not great.
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