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October 12th, 2014


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10:17 pm - Elizabeth Bowen
Last night I finally finished reading "The Collected Stories of Elizabeth Bowen". I borrowed it from my local library for the retrohugowomen project, and it has taken me the better part of a year to read my way through its 79 stories. Elizabeth Bowen was renowned for vignettes depicting the breakdown of the British and Anglo-Irish aristocracy's way of life, and the destruction of family units. The topics and writing style are not exactly my cup of tea - it took a lot of will power to continue reading the story in which a blister on her main character's foot was a symbol of his failing marriage. So why keep reading? Because scattered among the dreary tales of children who are disappointed in their parents, and parents who are bored of their children, are some truly wonderful speculative fiction stories.

The Apple-Tree (1934) is an extraordinary work of ominous imagery. The Cheery Soul (1942) has one of the funniest, most pointless ghosts I've come across in fiction. The writing style and narrative of Pink May (1945) blend together to create pretty much the perfect story. And Gone Away (1946) is... well, Gone Away is actual SF written by and actual Irish Women in actual 1946, and it is a beautiful unicorn that should be treasured.

And so, 79 stories later, I have a list of Elizabeth Bowen's Speculative Fiction Short Stories. You're welcome, Internet.

Speculative Fiction Short Stories
The Back Drawing-Room (1926)
Foothold (1929)
The Apple-Tree (1934)
The Demon Lover (1941)
The Cheery Soul (1942)
The Happy Autumn Fields (1944)
Green Holly (1945)
Pink May (1945)
Gone Away (1946)
Hand in Glove (1952)

Might-Be-Speculative-Fiction-Or-Might-Be-In-Their-Heads Short Stories
The Shadowy Third (1923)
The Storm (1926)
The Cat Jumps (1929)
Mysterious Kôr (1945)


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