Shirley Hazzard's stories are sharp, sensitive portrayals of moments of crisis. Whether they are set in the Italian countryside or suburban Connecticut, the stories deal, engrossingly and intelligently, with real people and real problems.
In the title piece of this collection, a young widow is surprised and ashamed by her lack of grief for her husband. In "A Place in the Country," a young woman has a passionate, guilty affair with her cousin's husband. In "Harold," a gawky, lonely young man finds acceptance and respect through his poetry.
Moving and evocative, these ten stories are written with subtlety, humor, and a keen understanding of the relationships between men and women.
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Cliffs of Fall
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THE PARTYTHE Fergusons' door opened on a burst of light and voices, and on Evie's squeal of surprise--quite as if, Minna thought, we had turned up uninvited. Evie kissed her."Our shoes are a bit wet," said Theodore. He stood aside to let Minna enter. "Is that all right?"Evie had slanting eyes, and a flushed, pretty face. She was wearing a shiny brown dress, and her hair bubbled down her back in fair, glossy curls. She had an impulsive way of embracing people, of holding them by the hand or the elbow, as though she must atone for any reticence on their part with an extra measure