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Short Stories

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  143 ratings  ·  15 reviews
Described by literary critic Robert Morss Lovett as "a novelist of civilization, absorbed in the somewhat mechanical operations of civilization, absorbed in the somewhat mechanical operations of culture, preoccupied with the upper ('and inner') class," Pulitzer Prize-winning author Edith Wharton (1862-1937) also wrote superbly crafted works of short fiction. The seven stor ...more
Paperback, 128 pages
Published October 21st 1994 by Dover Publications (first published 1911)
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(showing 1-30 of 310)
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Ana Rînceanu
"Mrs. Manstey's View" - You are what you view... an Edith Wharton-era real estate story. (5 stars)

"Roman Fever" - What happened that night in Rome so long ago? The secret revealed. (4 stars)

"The Reckoning" - The high price of marital harmony. (4 stars)

"Xingu" - Wild goings-on at a ladies' book group. (4 stars)
All of the stories in this book were beautifully written. But Wharton kept recycling the same sad themes of corrupted high society, divorce, and scandal. Also, her avant-garde feminism seemed rather confused and contradictory. The only story I actually enjoyed from this selection was Xingu. And even that left a bitter aftertaste. Maybe I would appreciate Edith Wharton more if I read one of her novels where her themes and characterization are fully fleshed out.
Fabulous little diversion. I find I much prefer her longer works, her writing and characters shine in the longer format and the subject material can be a little grating in nibbles, but overall worthwhile.
1.5 stars for the first five stories
3 stars for the last two.

Edith Wharton was a Pulitzer Prize-winning author who wrote stories and novels with one setting; upper crust people from New York or Boston, all of whom had maids, butlers, footmen, governesses, etc., literati who spent their time traveling abroad, speaking French, and discussing novels and investments. Oh yawn. Enough already. I grew pretty tired of the same characters. The stories read like a 19th century soap opera.
Wharton's writ
This contains one of my favorite Wharton turns of phrase: "the mentally unemployed."
Expiation and the Muse's tragedy were the ones I though were more interesting.
Holly Kroeger
I am not a great fan of the short story. Just not my cup of tea. This is Wharton at her best comic side. Loved "Xingu". But all were well written as only she can do. I even had to look up some words, as we have changed the use in our current language. That is always interesting and challenging. LOVED IT, overall!
I found a degree of variability in quality among these stories. While they all are well-written, some deal with the themes of social ostracism, feminism and relationships between the sexes better and more interestingly than others. My favorites are "The Pelican" and "Xingu".
David Cerruti
I did not expect these stories to be my cup of tea, but was pleasantly surprised. Roman Fever was my favorite. The twist at the end was elegant. The other three stories poked fun at the upper-class twits of her day. They were reminiscent of stories by Saki, but not as concise.
Not sure Wharton's art is best displayed in short-form, but a fairly enjoyable read regardless. Particularly enjoyed the more satirical stories - Xingu and Expiation - though the rest were by no means unpleasant.
There are so many wonderful quotations I could take from these pages. I find my notes and underlined paragraphs throughout the book. It was so enjoyable that I was disappointed that it wasn't longer.
Fantastic character descriptions. Written in the early 1900's, they do not seem outdated and the situations are unique with a mix of humor and poignant tenderness. The vocab was very erudite.
Really loved the sharpness of many of these stories, though by the time I reached the end of the book the hopeless situations and love-going-nowhere was depressing. I'd recommend Xingu.
audio stories narrated by Alece.
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Edith Newbold Jones was born into such wealth and privilege that her family inspired the phrase "keeping up with the Joneses." The youngest of three children, Edith spent her early years touring Europe with her parents and, upon the family's return to the United States, enjoyed a privileged childhood in New York and Newport, Rhode Island. Edith's creativity and talent soon became obvious: By the a ...more
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