Complete Collected Stories Critical Essays

V. S. Pritchett

Complete Collected Stories

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

V.S. Pritchett’s publishers in England and America should be congratulated for their persistent support of this talented but often-neglected writer. This is the third omnibus volume of Pritchett’s stories to appear since 1982, and it is by far the most comprehensive. Apart from the stories in Pritchett’s first collection, THE SPANISH VIRGIN AND OTHER STORIES (1930), COMPLETE COLLECTED STORIES reprints all of Pritchett’s previously collected stories. Pritchett’s refusal to acknowledge his earliest volume is rather too bad, since he thereby deprives readers of easy access to the experiments, false starts, and successes of his youth. Nevertheless, this is a rich harvest of wonderful stories, showing the development of a writer who, as he is fond of saying, is “as old as the century.”

Those already familiar with the riches of Pritchett’s imagination will rejoice to find between two covers the well-known stories on which his reputation with discriminating readers rests—"Sense of Humour,” “The Sailor,” “The Saint,” “The Fly in the Ointment,” “The Camberwell Beauty,” and “On the Edge of the Cliff.” Such readers will equally relish the chance to savor further delights, from the gritty realism of “Main Road” to the suspense of “The Voice,” to the almost slapstick humor of “The Key to My Heart,” or the intensity of “The Lady from Guatemala.” Pritchett is a master of many moods and many kinds of short story,...

(The entire section is 531 words.)