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Miss Brill (Penguin Little Black Classics, #72)

3.59  ·  Rating details ·  1,404 ratings  ·  133 reviews
'And again, as always, he had the feeling he was holding something that never was quite his - his. Something too delicate, too precious, that would fly away once he let go.'

Three sharp and powerful short stories from Katherine Mansfield, one of the genre's all-time masters.
Paperback, Little Black Classics, 53 pages
Published February 26th 2015 by Penguin Classics (first published 1920)
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Average rating 3.59  · 
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Jan 07, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed, fiction
Pride comes before a fall, or so the saying goes. Miss Brill, the pompous and condescending old lady finds this out when she is seen as one of those weirdo eccentrics who sit in the park and talk to themselves. And she suddenly realises her place in the world.

Good story, well told, very sad. I hope it doesn't happen to me.
It's difficult for me to describe why I love Katherine Mansfield's short stories so much. Their vibrations fit my vibrations I guess. This story has a simple premise, one identifiable character (Miss Brill), in a park setting, for one short afternoon. Yet Mansfield, in a few short pages bares the soul of this woman. Miss Brill is the Eleanor Rigby of short stories.
Sean Barrs the Bookdragon
Whilst I enjoyed the short stories in here, I was surprised that Bliss wasn’t included. It is her most renowned short story and, perhaps, her best one because it shows us the power of an unreliable narrator in a memorable way. I don’t think this edition is very helpful to those looking for an introduction to Mansfield, I’d recommend starting with Bliss.

The main story in here is called Miss Brill, and the character, Miss Brill, has built herself a little bubble to protect herself from reality;
Liz Janet
Dec 20, 2015 rated it it was ok
The main story here is the story of a lady that spends her time listening into people’s conversations as she sits in the park, and then she begins creating her own imaginary world as her loneliness becomes more evident. In the end, it is a tale of isolation, and it made me quite sad to think of poor Miss Brill in her bench, and how some people in the story make fun of her. Karma is not nice.
This book was read for the #readwomen month.
My favourite of
Hossein Sharifi
Nov 20, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although the day was warm, Miss Brill was happy she had decided to wear her fur. She had taken it out that morning for the first time all season, brushing its coat and polishing its eyes. She enjoyed the way its sad eyes looked up at her and how soft the fur was. Miss Brill called it “little rogue” and liked how its head tickled her behind the ear. She was so happy she thought about putting the fur on her lap and stroking it.
هرچند هوا گرم بود اما دوشیزه بریل خوشحال بود تصمیم گرفته بود که
Michelle Curie
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
"And again, as always, he had the feeling he was holding something that never was quite his. Something too delicate, too precious, that would fly away once he let go."

Katherine Mansfield got some serious skill. My God, she knows how to write a story for sure. In this Little Black Classic we get presented three of her short stories and each individually impressed me.

I love good writing (duh). Give me some pretty, poetic phrases and I'll be all over you. Not everyone is capable of using the
Oct 09, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I liked this story because it reminded me of myself. Not because of the fur or she lives through others,but because she likes to watch others and comment on them and even create stories about them when she does not know what is going on in their lives. The ending was very sad though because that rude boy made Miss Brill think she was unloved and sent her home crying. I mean, she wasn't hurting anyone by watching them and creating her fantasies, it just made her happy.
May 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
This was my first taste of Katherine Mansfield, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. This book contains three of her stories - Marriage à La Mode, Miss Brill, and The Stranger.

Out of the three, Marriage à La Mode was my absolute favourite. I found it cutting and funny, and a great comment on society and personal identity. It was an incredibly clever story, and one I would highly recommend everyone check out. Miss Brill, the title story, was sweet but ultimately quite sad, and the final story The
Sep 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Miss Brill reminded me of myself and I was surging with happiness that an author could put in to words the feelings I get-which seem so hard to explain to people who are often completely inside their heads and overly cynical-every other day.

When I read the young couple judging her, I teared up. It cut too close to home, along with feeling bad for them attacking a person who did nothing but be.

I know what it feels like to wear something-deemed weird by many- just because you like it and to be
Tamsien West (Babbling Books)
Aug 21, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: short-stories
A wonderfully melancholy collection of 3 short stories. All 3 had an element of naivete about the protagonist, something like an air of innocence that becomes tainted before the story is over. It is the shattering of the gentle illusions that left me as a reader feeling a pang of loss on their behalf. Mansfield has a flair for moody domestic scenes, and I will definitely seek out her other work.
Nov 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
It was pure coincidence that I picked No. 72 of Penguin's Little Black Classics out of the box right after finishing No. 48, but it turned out to be a happy pairing. No. 48 is Edith Wharton's “The Reckoning,” and Katherine Mansfield's lonely, dysfunctional characters in the three short stories here – “Marriage a la Mode,” “Miss Brill,” and “The Stranger” -- resonate intriguingly against Wharton's portrayals of women who, while terribly isolated, nevertheless refuse to subside in complete ...more
Available free online here: http://www.katherinemansfieldsociety....

A quick observation of how people critically view others. If they stop .... and take the time to think, how will they view themselves?

Delightfully descriptive writing of a middle-aged English teacher, sitting in a park n France, on a lovely Sunday afternoon. She is listening to the oumph-pah-pah of the garden band with her ear tuned not only to the band but also to those around her. She sees the world as a stage. She
Mar 12, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Mansfield's writing is delicate and elegant, and her depiction of the characters is always fine and detailed, but in an attentive and never-too-revealing way, which makes them more real and human, as well ever-changing (something I really like about her style).

What the three stories have in common is the theme of communication/understanding, or rather the lack of it, which eventually brings us to the theme of loneliness. Here again, she manages to be delicate and witty without being dramatic,
Liberty K
Jan 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
Katherine Mansfield and three little sad stories so lyrical written that I wanted more. I love sadness when it's beautifully written, sue me!
Esraa Diab
Miss Birll ^^
why on earth i love Miss birll? I don't know -.-
i just loved this short story and didn't think twice in giving it 5 points..

Miss Birll is a true example of how community deals with old people and how they think about themselves.
old people are very simple, if they knew that people are paying attention to them they will be so happy. however, even this little thing we take it away from them!

selfishness is all what we can describe our actions with them with. we neglect them, make fun
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is a wonderful selection of stories about sad everyday human events. If a story needs to be singled out it would be Miss Brill this little narrative is a beautiful creation of the life of Miss Brill and her regular Sunday out.

Katherine Mansfield has mastered the art of the everyday mundane events as something wonderful. A gentleman checking his watch waiting for his wifes' boat to come in means more than it should.

Definately a writer who needs to be read more.

Absolutely delightful.
Three short stories made with the finest ingredients of the genre - creeping undercurrents that remain half-hidden to the last word, the human soul at a glance, setting up a whole spectrum of moods in the span of 10 to 20 pages, a perfect measure of everything. Exquisite. Off to the rest of The Garden Party and Other Stories.

2015 Reading Challenge: A book set somewhere you've always wanted to visit
stories of loneliness and sorrow... of what we want to hold on but as it does not belong to us, it will escape us forever...
Jul 02, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009-reads
This is another title I was introduced to via audio - this time downloaded from LibriVox. It is from a book of short stories by Katherine Mansfield, called "The Garden Party," which I am now anxious to find.

Miss Brill is the main character in a story about a woman who visits the park in her small town every Sunday. In the springtime, their are concerts, and as she is waiting one day for one to begin, she makes observations about those around her. She is a woman of very definite opinions, leading
Heather Rose
Feb 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I see that many people find Miss Brill to be pompous and looking down her nose at the little people 'coming from their cupboards' I didnt find that at all as all these characters on the stage were so valuable to her. There is equal footing in this family of stage characters. It is heart breaking to realize that something that is integral to the happiness in your life is essentially garbage to someone else. Seems like she thought more that she shared something common with them and they were ...more
Joey Woolfardis
I did so much enjoy these New Zealand short stories, though I'm not certain why. Written well, but often subtle and vague, which often infuriates me. Occasionally with pointless moments, but also of the kind that speak to you across the ages.

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Beth Bonini
Feb 25, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: short-stories
All three stories in this small collection have a turning point in which the main character feels himself or herself to be an outsider - to be on the fringe of things, to be absurd, even mocked, to be unloved. Mansfield has a light touch, but her conclusions can be quite devastating. Although Miss Brill is in some ways the least substantial story, its poison dart is most effective. It gets at a human fear that I think most of us feel at one time or another: the fear of being superfluous, not ...more
Kate Did
Apr 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
This could possibly be my favorite story ever written. Though short Mansfield manages to impart more meaning and emotion into a few short pages then most can in a epic novel. Though not the happiest of short stories it's rich images made feel almost like i was the character herself
Jenny Bunting
May 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautiful little story that deals with loneliness and the desperate desire to connect. I will definitely check out some more of Mansfield's work.
Withholding from saying much, I’ll just say this: undoubtedly anyone will find Miss Brill short story very relatable at one point or another in his/her life. (if not repeatedly )
Dec 06, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: shortstories
At first, it seems really simple and boring, but when u dig a little deeper, u can find yourself in Miss Brill or at least a part of yourself. And also there's an interesting relation between the name of the character and the character itself. "Brill" is a kind of fish that's not edible and it's almost useless. Nobody wants it. Nobody choose it. Just like Miss Brill herself and boy how sad is that?
Jun 12, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The air was motionless, but when you opened your mouth there was just a faint chill, like a chill from a glass of iced water before you sip, and now and again a leaf came drifting—from nowhere, from the sky.”
Mansfield's writing about early fall is poetic and rich.
Feb 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A beautifully sad story about a woman who doesn't belong in society. She criticizes and pities others for being odd, silent, outsiders and then realises that she herself is an odd, silent, outsider. Beautiful symbolism and comparisons.
Aug 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
I need more Katherine Mansfield in my life! Her writing is not only superb, she also has this talent of capturing characters in a really subtle way. Loved the stories and can only recommend them!
Arezu Wishka
A rare third person omniscient. I liked it for my literature class.
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Kathleen Mansfield Murry (née Beauchamp) was a prominent New Zealand modernist writer of short fiction who wrote under the pen name of Katherine Mansfield.

Katherine Mansfield is widely considered one of the best short story writers of her period. A number of her works, including "Miss Brill", "Prelude", "The Garden Party", "The Doll's House", and later works such as "The Fly", are frequently
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“She had become really quite expert, she thought, at listening as though she didn't listen, at sitting in other people's lives just for a minute while they talked round her.” 16 likes
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