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The Collected Stories Of Colette

4.13  ·  Rating details ·  1,060 ratings  ·  47 reviews
Edited and with an introduction by Robert PhelpsThe hundred short stories collected here include such masterpieces as 'Bella-Vista', 'The Tender Shoot' and 'Le K-pi', Colette's subtle and ruthless rendering of a woman's belated sexual awakening. Shot through with the colours and flavours of the Parisian world and fertile French countryside, these short stories reverberate ...more
Kindle Edition, 624 pages
Published April 28th 2011 by Vintage Digital (first published January 1st 1958)
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We're blinded to the beauty in our own lives,
But I was taking all that I could get,
For five or six hours in the month of July,
......The summer I read Colette.

Rosanne Cash

My "summer of Colette" occurred in 2003 and 2004 when I read Gigi and Julie de Carneilhan and My Mother's House & Sido. (No, I'm not sure why her books are packaged as twofers. . .) In these exceptionally casual times, it's easy to forget how important it once was to behave in a proper and mannerly fashion, and how many rul
Debbie Zapata
Apr 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: saturdaymx
I've spent all of April with Colette and the one hundred stories in this collection.

And I have loved every minute!

The book is divided into sections: Early Stories (I especially enjoyed the seven 'Dialogues For One Person' there), Backstage At The Music Hall, Varieties Of Human Nature, and Love.

The Sick Child will stay with me a long time, as will many others, too many to list!

Any good writer will notice details in life that other people overlook, then add imagination to create a mini-world for
Seamus Thompson
Sep 22, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

How did I go this long without reading Colette? Why didn't anyone tell me how amazing she is?

I am still reading this collection but there are so many stories that I won't be able to read all -- or even most -- of them before it goes back to the library, so now is as good a time as any to jot down some thoughts.

I wanted an introduction to Colette's writing and these stories have done much more than whet my appetite. I wish I'd read these years ago but it is a fine treat to discover such wonderful
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-fiction
I had a hard time getting through these 600 pages of sheer lyricism and character sketches.

I was expecting more substance. The stories are flimsy, held up only by poetic description and the characters are so very shallow. Her themes are mostly based on her pessimistic view of relationship and that is just about all she has to say. I get it but it is depressing that she really seemed to live her life based on this belief. I did like 2 stories out of the 100--"Dawn" and "April." "The Kepi" is her
May 04, 2018 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: may-2018, abandoned
I have been looking forward to Colette's Collected Stories for such a long time. Translated by Antonia White, an author whom I enjoy, I expected that these tales would be immersive, beautifully written, and memorable. I normally find Colette's work immediately absorbing and transporting, so I was surprised when I did not find myself becoming immersed in this early on. These are largely really more like sketches and monologues than short stories, and as most of them feature Colette, or a facsimil ...more
Feb 01, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: progressive women of any generation
Years ago, I read a short story by Colette (AKA Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette)in Freshman English - it was about a woman dressed in a pieroette costume who felt very liberated because she was wearing a mask and could behave in a very sensual manner. It was written in the early part of the 20th century. I found a copy of her collected stories last week at my local (wonderful) bookshop, the Raconteur in Metuchen, and am digging in and really enjoying it. But to enjoy, you must read s-l-o-w-l-y.

I esp
1) The Other Table
2) The Screen
3) Clouk Alone
4) Clouk's Fling
5) Cheri
6) The Return
7) The Pearls
8) Literature
9) My Goddaughter
10) A Hairdresser
11) A Masseuse
12) My Corset Maker
13) The Saleswoman
14) An Interview
15) A Letter
16) The Semiramis Bar
17) "If I Had a Daughter..."
18) Rites
19) Newly Shorn
20) Grape Harvest
21) In the Boudoir
22) The "Master"
23) Morning Glories
24) What Must We Look Like?
25) The Cure
26) Sleepless Nights
27) Gray Days
28) The Last Fire
29) A Fable: The Tendrils of the Vine
30) The Ha
Akemi G.
Mar 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I almost didn't want to review this book. I want to keep this as my secret source of joy and inspiration, much in a way I might keep a secret lover. Or maybe I'd give it 4-stars so that no one would really take notice.

This is a collection of short stories, some no more than a page or two; they are more like sketches of a scene or a character. And if you've been following my reviews, you know I emphasize the importance of strong plot. So what is going on? Well, there is always an exception to th
Apr 25, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I'm dipping into this book for the umpteenth time. Not one to read cover to cover, but I love Colette's steely-eyed view of the world - underneath all the love of nature and intense sensory detail is a hard-headed cynic. I've just reread The rainy moon, a haunting story about a woman's obsessive hatred for her ex-husband, set against the narrator Colette's memories of an unhappy but less bitter love affair that took place in the same flat years before.
Daily Alice
Jul 16, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
What a fabulous introduction to this clever writer. Sugar coating disguises sometimes bitter, sometimes sharp observations of people and their motivations. This is a great book to take on holiday or dip into when you have a few minutes over a coffee.
Mark Gaulding
Dec 27, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am struck at how contemporary her voice is particularly the series of vignettes with a one-sided conversation.
Feb 02, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very enjoyable, but best read in small doses. Binge reading makes it possible to get a tad tired of the author's irrepressible ego. ...more
Aug 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
18 JUN 20: I am still reading this - it's just taking a long time!

13 AUG 20: Finally finished it two days ago. What an utter joy it has been as well a solid education in evoking the senses. There are stories in this that I will come back to again and again, and I like to think there has been some residual effect that will show up in my own work, eventually.
Gila Gila
Sep 18, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
Reading Collette can be like watching an utterly transfixing French film; her descriptive powers are so strong that the French homes, gardens and cafes surround you, as you eavesdrop on the people who inhabit them. She can justify a long paragraph detailing a staircase and nothing else; she can tell an entire story in two sentences.

The gone-in-a-flash short short stories included in this volume were new to me, and some of them I thought wonderful; but my favourites, off the top of my head, were
Aug 25, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Colette fans, jazz age fans,
I read this collection from cover to cover one summer c.1990 and I think this is the best way to introduce someone to the works of Colette.

One reason I love her writing is because she puts you THERE in France during the turn of the 20th century and up to the jazz age.

Colette's life as a stage performer, and more or less, starving artist coupled with her divorced status at a time when divorce was considered damning gives her a unique perspective of the world that is far from the genteel image th
This deserves, at the very least, a four star rating, as Colette is an incredibly gifted and insightful writer. I adore the sensual style and subtlety of her writing; unfortunately, I did not care for the way the editor attempted to beat me over the head with it. 600+ pages? Really? The editor really should have trimmed some of the fat here and done away with about a third of the stories included in this collection. The weaker, the repetitive, and the boring could have been scrapped without miss ...more
Nov 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This large book was indeed amazing! Beautiful even, she writes so well that is envious. I am even convinced that she writes like a female Oscar Wilde. Some stories are more glorious than others...but it isn't easy to find favourites. I enjoyed most were: My Goddaughter, Grape Harvest, The Fox, The Half-Crazy, The Watchman, Bella-Vista and April. I got this from the library and would in fact like to own a copy. Despite her years as 1873-1954 she is still a modern writer, one I feel won't age. Wel ...more
Jan 10, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In selecting this book, I thought that perhaps there would be some of Colette's stories that I hadn't read before, but after sampling several of them they all seemed so familiar that I decided not to read any more. She writes well, but I think they were better for me when I was first discovering the world. ...more
Miriam Fitting
This is a reread, and I reread it one-and-a-half times through this time as prep/research for one of my own stories. Her longer, later works are a little to detail heavy and involved, but the middle ones are excellent! Especially the Valentine ones. Light, beautiful, flashes of deepness, spare. Would that I could--perhaps I can.
Apr 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I finally finished this 600 page book after putting it down and picking it up over the last year. Collette's writing is magnificent. She is very obviously adept at observing human relationships and small banal moments and turns them into beautiful and intriguing stories. I felt like I was privy to her personal memories. I plan to hold on to this book and reread it multiple times. ...more
Ashley Blake
Aug 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My first encounter with Colette and it was one well-worth the time. She captures Paris at that time in history perfectly and with such fervor it makes you want to travel back in time. She is a very human writer, depicting humanity with passion, feeling, and sensuality.
Oct 04, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Colette would disapprove, but this is my in-betweener book. I don't typically tend to be drawn to short stories, but I'll read pretty much anything Colette has written. Whenever I do pick up a story here and there, I'm reminded of just how fabulous she truly is. ...more
Mar 29, 2007 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
not nearly as good as her other stuff. for a completist only, methinks. but not terrible either. just meh.
Jun 05, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
in particular, "the judge" ...more
Dec 27, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: tomi-ann roberts
the first colette i've read, and some of the most intriguing, wonderful short stories ever. they are clever and bright--always surprising and intuitive. ...more
Feb 17, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: stories
"The Rainy Moon" is pure pleasure from start to finish. ...more
Apr 07, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Adults
Colette is another must read if you are a fan of erotica and all things mystical/womanly.
May 06, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My first reading of Colette and still a favourite.
May 27, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Reading again...just love this book. I should probably look into getting others by Colette I know she has many more to offer
Dec 23, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
perfect prose, even in translation, and clever stories.
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A woman way ahead of her time 2 18 Apr 28, 2011 10:15AM  

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Colette was the pen name of the French novelist and actress Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette. She is best known, at least in the English-speaking world, for her novella Gigi, which provided the plot for a famous Lerner & Loewe musical film and stage musical. She started her writing career penning the influential Claudine novels of books. The novel Chéri is often cited as her masterpiece.

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