Winter's Tales (Winter's Tales New Series)

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9780312024802: Winter's Tales (Winter's Tales New Series)

Presents previously unpublished works by contemporary writers

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From Kirkus Reviews:

The seventh edition of this annual anthology--from Britain but with an international bent--features, often enough, refined mandarin prose and multilayered narratives that offer a marked contrast to American minimalism. With one exception, the fictions are original: the solicitation process is unclear, but the writers range from established (Clare Colvin, Laura Kalpakian, Piers Paul Read, Tom Wakefield) to emerging (Balraj Khanna, Tony Peake, Patrick Roscoe). Read's ``Family Christmas'' is a delicate slice-of-life about a wife who returns with her family, including her stiff husband (``just another irritable paterfamilias''), to her recently widowed mother's house. Colvin's ``The Archduke's Dwarf'' makes delightful use of historical and fairy-tale elements to meditate on the nature of love. In tragicomic fashion, Khanna, a transposed Indian, dramatizes (in ``The Last Card Game'') the domestic warfare between a husband who longs for the ``good old days in the Punjab'' and a wife whose maternal feelings have been displaced onto a terrier. Helen Harris's deft ``The Mirage'' is a sad tale about a woman who ``married modestly'' for ``a straight exchange,'' not love, before quarreling with her unloved husband and eventually drifting into loneliness. Scottish writer Alison Fell's ``Queen Christina and the Windsurfer'' is a lyrically playful encounter between goddesses and mortals, whereas ``Carpe Diem'' by Isidoro Blaisten (from Buenos Aires) is a clever anthology-ending bit of wordplay that punctuates this edition's commitment to the eclecticism of various keys both major and minor. While the overall quality of the 12 stories is mixed, the cosmopolitan tone and varied forms are satisfying. -- Copyright ©1991, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

Two elements distinguish this prestigious collection of mostly British short stories: the ecstatically evoked sense of place and the lyric quality of the prose. Although the protagonists differ dramatically--in age, status, race and culture--they share a sense of spiritual loss and personal failure that in many instances can be resolved only by death. Thus two dissimilar stories such as Francis King's "The Tradesman" and Laura Kalpakian's "A Christmas Cordial" profile aged women whose drab lives end in quiet rapture. In "Orion," Jeanette Winterson transforms the myth of Orion's rape of Artemis and subsequent murder by her into a metaphor for the universal search for inner peace. In Damon Galgut's "The Night of the Blood," two boys, Kevin and Kyle, have a single homoerotic encounter, in which Kevin ejaculates blood, an incident that scars his later relationships with women. Of the 14 stories in this anthology (the fourth in a new series), not one fails to stir long-dormant imaginings or to create a memorable character.
Copyright 1989 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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