Selected Short Stories of William Dean Howells

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9780821411933: Selected Short Stories of William Dean Howells
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The short stories of Ohio-born William Dean Howells (1837-1920), the leading figure in American realism, have been largely unknown to the reading public, at least partly because of their general unavailability and because of the difficulties of identifying, among Howells's voluminous short writings, those that are clearly short stories.

Selected Short Stories of William Dean Howells includes the full texts of thirteen of Howells's short stories, each preceded by a thorough critical analysis, and an annotated short story list, identifying and discussing all of Howells's short stories.

His stories, often in surprisingly comic and fresh ways, explore the slippery nature of perception, the variance between the ethical and the aesthetic points of view, the benefits and hazards of the creative imagination, and the requirements and responsibilities of personal morality.

More than his novels or other writings, Howells's late stories reveal his fascination with psychology and his interest in psychic phenomena. These forgotten stories expose a side of Howells unknown even to many Americanists.

Conversely, the early stories are invaluable in revealing his development as a writer and his concern, even at an early age, with themes that permeate the entire Howells canon.

Taken as a group, this carefully edited selection of short stories provides a complete and manageable overview of the artistic and moral concerns of William Dean Howells and the span and evolution of his contribution to this genre.

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About the Author:

Ruth Bardon, who was educated at Swarthmore College, the Writers Workshop at the University of Iowa, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, now lives in Durham, North Carolina.

From Kirkus Reviews:

A lovingly annotated sampling of stories by the prolific Howells (18371920), now best known for his many novels and for his unstinting efforts to champion realism in American literature in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Bardon provides both a lengthy general introduction setting the stories (written between 1861 and 1917) within the context of Howells's career (ironically, as she points out, Howells was best known in his own time for his short fiction and essays; only later did he become identified primarily as a novelist), as well as prefaces to each of the 13 tales. They range from the elegantly slight (``A Dream'') to the lyrical (``Christmas Every Day''), and from closely observed tales of psychological and intellectual complexity (``A Difficult Case'') to work with frank supernatural overtones (``The Angel of the Lord''). A varied and impressive gathering, surprisingly fresh and intriguing, and a necessary volume for any Howells collection. -- Copyright ©1997, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

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9780821411940: Selected Short Stories Wm. Dean Howells

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ISBN 10:  0821411942 ISBN 13:  9780821411940
Publisher: Ohio University Press, 1992
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