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Critical Overview

(Short Stories for Students)

Mansfield is one of only a few writers to gain critical prominence on the basis of her short stories alone; she published no novels during her short lifetime. Though published widely while she was still alive, her literary reputation was permanently established after her death with the publication of her collected letters and correspondence. In The Letters of Katherine Mansfield , the author gives readers insight into the way in which she constructed "Miss Brill": "I choose the rise and fall of every paragraph to fit her.… After I'd written it I read it aloud—numbers of times—just as one would play over a musical composition—trying to get it nearer and nearer to the expression of Miss Brill—until it fitted her." "Miss...

(The entire section is 246 words.)