Classic American women writers: Sarah Orne Jewett, Kate Chopin, Edith Wharton, Willa Cather (Perennial library ; P 502)
2 journalers for this copy...
Later: While Wharton's far and away my favorite of the four authors included here, this collection highlights some of the less well-known stories of each, and makes for some fascinating comparisons.
Of Jewett's stories, "A White Heron" is especially poignant: a young girl is fascinated by a man visiting the area in search of birds for his collection, and when he offers a significant sum of money if she'll show him the nesting place of a white heron, she has a difficult decision to make...
Kate Chopin has more stories in this collection than any of the others, seven compared to three or four, but they're choice ones, including "Desiree's Baby" with its wrenching twist, and "The Story of an Hour," one of the more unusual and dramatic takes on a "loved one is thought dead" scenario.
Wharton's stories include "Souls Belated," a chilling study of a couple who have defied society to be together - and then run into some unexpected obstacles in themselves, and "The Other Two," an unusual look at several people linked by marriage and divorce - with a scene that might be a bit more common today than when the book was written, but which is hardly any less awkward now!
Cather's stories include "The Sculptor's Funeral," in which increasingly-sad truths come out, and "The Best Years", her last story, which has poignant details about memory and the passage of time.
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