Saki (Magill's Literary Annual 1982)
Up to now, little has been known about Hector Hugh Munro except that he used the pen name “Saki”; that he wrote a number of witty short stories, two novels, several plays, and a history of Russia; and that he was killed in World War I. His friend Rothay Reynolds published “A Memoir of H. H. Munro” in Saki’s The Toys of Peace (1919), and Munro’s sister Ethel furnished a brief “Biography of Saki” for a posthumous collection of his work entitled The Square Egg and Other Sketches (1924). A. J. Langguth’s Saki is the first full-length biography of the man who, during his brief writing career, published a succession of bright, satirical, and sometimes perfectly crafted short stories that have entertained and amused readers in many countries for well over a half-century.
Hector Munro was the third child of Charles Augustus Munro, a British police officer in Burma, and his wife Mary Frances. The children were all born in Burma. Pregnant with her fourth child, Mrs. Munro was brought with the children to live with her husband’s family in England until the child arrived. Frightened by the charge of a runaway cow on a country lane, Mrs. Munro died after a miscarriage. Since the widowed father had to return to Burma, the children—Charles, Ethel, and Hector—were left with their Munro grandmother and her two dominating and mutually antagonistic spinster daughters, Charlotte (“Aunt Tom”) and Augusta. This situation...
(The entire section is 2077 words.)
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 1982)
The Atlantic Monthly. CCXLVIII, August, 1981, p. 87.
Harper’s Magazine. CCLXIII, August, 1981, p. 76.
Library Journal. CVI, July, 1981, p. 1424.
National Review. XXXIII, July 10, 1981, p. 788.
The New Republic. CLXXXV, September 23, 1981, p. 38.
The New York Review of Books. XXVIII, October 8, 1981, p. 33.
The New York Times Book Review. LXXXVI, August 16, 1981, p. 12.
Saturday Review. VIII, July, 1981, p. 80.
Time. CXVIII, September 7, 1981, p. 67.
Times Literary Supplement. November 6, 1981, p. 1293.
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