Drawn from earlier collections covering the past three decades, these 21 stories range across a variety of locales, social echelons and literary styles. In "Voices," a child aspiring to penetrate the "secret world" of adults discovers she can magically hear through walls. But the voices she hearsvoices of rancor, avarice, disgustare best kept from children, and to her they prove fatal. One of several tales about Japan, "A Corner of the Foreign Field," concerns a Japanese Anglophile who, after making his first British friend, relinquishes his lifelong dream. The selection ends with "His Everlasting Mansion," a bitter parable of rags to riches to rags to the possibility of riches again, which the narrator"Call me Misanthropos"is now too bilious to desire. King's characters often become aware that they have hoped for the wrong thing: ironically, striving is more rewarding than success. Some readers may find these stories overly tight, with no evocative loose ends. Still, the author's esteemed reputation in Britain is well-deserved. The collection is uniformly lucid, intelligent and engaging. Foreign rights: Hutchinson, U.K. February 4
Copyright 1985 Reed Business Information, Inc.
In spite of his great productivity, Francis King remains relatively unknown outside England. This is unfortunate, for he is a deft craftsman whose short stories in particular merit attention. This sampling of some of his best short fiction written over the past 36 years attempts to rectify the situation. With precise and cool detachment, King explores the emotional and cultural barriers that can thwart real understanding between individuals. A sense of unfulfilled passion permeates most of the stories. Several are set in Japan and Italy where the author once served as a British Council lecturer. Another, "A Scent of Mimosa," involves a winner of the Katherine Mansfield Short Story Prizewhich the author himself has won. Fans of the serious short story will appreciate this collection. Recommended highly. David W. Henderson, Eckerd Coll. Lib., St. Petersburg, Fla.
Copyright 1986 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Little Brown & Co (T), 1986. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M0316493503