Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Collected Stories of Jean Stafford 1970


I now know why I never encountered Jean Stafford's short stories in high school and college - they are not compelling, interesting or memorable, and they conclude abruptly leaving me wondering what the point of the story was. They are dark stories, thick with words requiring a dictionary and no dialog. She seems stuck on tuberculosis - characters either have it, act like they have it, look like they have it or know someone who has it. I wish I could be more positive, but this was a long slog of a read - I finished all of the stories only because I hoped the next one would be better.

2 comments:

3M said...

Thanks for the review--I'll wait for awhile on this one!

Anonymous said...

I didn't like this one much either - seemed so dark. The stories about the invalids who lived in the west were interesting but I admit to an interest in the social history of the American West. I gained a bit of appreciation for the stories after reading her bio on wikipedia. She experienced sorrow through her life as well as poor health from an accident and later from alcoholism. These experiences along with the theme of isolation from society are evident in her work.