Although Persephone Reading Week is long over I do have a few things to show for it. I might not have finished Dorothy Whipple's Someone at a Distance that same week, but I did finish before the end of the month, so I've finally had a taste of her work. And as threatened I placed an order with Persephone Books (my first in about a year, so I think I was due for three shiny new books). As they recently arrived on my doorstep, I thought I would share my new goodies with you. I always have a hard time deciding on only three--I make lists and then rank the the books and then reread the descriptions. This is not a decision to rush. I'm sorely tempted to sign up for their book subscription. Imagine getting a new book every month. I think you have to pay up front, however, which means a tidy little sum spent before I actually get the books and more than I can afford at the moment. So I will be content with my unread stack and my three new books. So, without further ado, my purchases:
I've only read one of Irene Nemirovsky's novels (have more to read in my piles...), but short stories in general appeal to me at the moment. Dimanche and Other Stories contains ten stories that I believe Persephone Books commissioned specially to translate into English. "As in a Chekhov short story, little happens but everything happens." Nemirovsky is called an "astute observer" and one reviewer compared her to Chekhov, Maupassant and Colette--high praise indeed!
I've heard many good things about Marghanita Laski in general, though I've only read The Victorian Chaise-longue. To Bed With Grand Music is another novel about infidelity, though this story told from an entirely different perspective. What happens when a wife sees her husband off to war, promises to be faithful and then isn't? This should be quite a different picture of the WWII British homefront.
I had to have another Dorothy Whipple (though I do have The Priory already). Another hard choice, but I thought the most recent Whipple title, High Wages might be a little lighter than some of her other books. I like the idea of "a shop girl made good story". I already know she's a master of characterization, so I have high expectations for this book, and I am sure she'll live up to them.
So, the anticipation of choosing, ordering and waiting for the books is over and now I have them in my hands. As soon as I finish my Virago read, I'll ge to choose one of these next!