This collection includes: How Wand-fo was Saved, Marko's Smile, The Milk of Death, The Last Love of Princess Genji, The Man Who Loved the Nereids, Our Lady of the Swallows, Aphrodissia; the Widow, Kali Beheaded, The End of Marko Kraljevic, The Sadness of Cornelius Berg, and a Postscript by the Author.
Yourcenar, who is not as well known here as she is in Europe, was elected to the French Academy in 1980. This collection first appeared in France in 1938 under the title Nouvelles Orientales ; this is its first appearance in English. These ten short stories deal with strange or supernatural legends. Four are retellings of authentic fables. Several are Yourcenar's own creations. The remainder are based loosely on legends and ballads. All are haunting and vividly told tales which raise fascinating questions about human nature and its response to life and death. Recommended for academic and large public libraries. C. Robert Nixon, M.L.S., W. Lafayette, Ind.