The Persephone Book of Short Stories

A nice collection to finish the year on, and another lovely gift from my sister (although one that I’ve been very remiss in getting round to, having had it on my shelves for about eight years now!).

It brings together 30 short stories written by women between 1908 and 1986, published to celebrate Persephone’s one hundredth book. It’s mixture of authors I know of but haven’t read, ones I’d not heard of before and a few by authors I love, like Irène Nemirovsky, Edith Wharton and Penelope Mortimer (who I’ve been wanting to discover more of ever since reading The Pumpkin Eater a few years ago).

If there’s a common theme to the stories, it’s that they focus on small events — from a birthday to a gynae appointment — that give great insights into the issues for women at that time. The wonderful thing about the collection, and particularly reading all the stories in order, is getting to observe what changed (and didn’t) over that period.

Now I’m looking forward to reading more by the authors I really enjoyed. I feel a new year book spree coming on…

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