Collected Stories by Elizabeth Bowen: Literature to be read again and again

Book review: Short stories from yesteryear are cunning and illuminating

Portrait of Elizabeth Bowen at Bowenscourt

Portrait of Elizabeth Bowen at Bowenscourt

Some years ago, I studied Elizabeth Bowen’s short story Summer Night in a university seminar. Going back over the version I read from then, I found little handwritten notes. “Abstract”, “detail”, “perspectives”, “symbolism”, I had jotted. In the whole story, just one thing was underlined: “‘She’s quite right; we did have a girl,’ he said. ‘But I don’t know how to tell her the kid’s dead.’”

Well. Wow.

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