1922. Mansfield is New Zealand's most famous writer. She was closely associated with D.H. Lawrence and something of a rival of Virginia Woolf. Mansfield's creative years were burdened with loneliness, illness, jealousy, alienation, all this reflected in her work with the bitter depiction of marital and family relationships of her middle-class characters. Her short stories are also notable for their use of stream of consciousness. Like the Russian writer Anton Chekhov, Mansfield depicted trivial events and subtle changes in human behavior. Her family memoirs, collected in Bliss, secured her reputation as a writer. Contents: At the Bay; The Garden Party; The Daughters of the Late Colonel; Mr. and Mrs. Dove; The Young Girl; Life of Ma Parker; Marriage a la Mode; The Voyage; Miss Brill; Her First Ball; The Singing Lesson; The Stranger; Bank Holiday; An Ideal Family; and The Lady's-Maid. See other titles by this author available from Kessinger Publishing.
The Garden Party is the last volume of short stories published before this New Zealand author's untimely death from tuberculosis at age 35. These 15 stories are typical Mansfield slice-of-life glimpses into human relationships: parent-child, wife-husband, friend-friend, all recognizable, all vivid in their gentleness and sensitivity. Marguerite Gavin reads in a light, American-accented, rather uninspired way, but her voices are marvelous; presenting British accents of every description from cockney to Queen, with clear delineation between characters male and female, is a skill especially important in these character-driven tales. Her sound effects (birdcalls, running water, etc.) are perfect, and she sings in such a lovely clear soprano that the listener wishes there were more songs in the stories. The short story format is often a favorite with listeners who hesitate to commit to hours and hours of the same work. Mansfield belongs in all fiction collections; highly recommended.--Harriet Edwards, East Meadow P.L., NY Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.