October 14th: Katherine Mansfield

“The air was motionless, but when you opened your mouth there was just a faint chill, like a chill from a glass of iced water before you sip, and now again a leaf came drifting – from nowhere, from the sky.– Katherine Mansfield, Miss Brill

Now that the days are getting shorter and colder, it’s time to cuddle up inside with a good short story! In honour of Katherine Mansfield‘s birthday, we’d like to share some of our favourites of hers. The modernist author’s short stories are packed with emotions subtly hidden in interactions. In Miss Brill, we get to know a character filled with loneliness, alienated from the world. And although Miss Brill finds moments of happiness, these too are crushed by a smug comment on her appearance. From one lonely soul stuck in her own world to another, The Garden Party tells a story of inner conflict and class consciousness. Laura, the protagonist, is ripped from her bubble of wealth and comfort when a neighbour dies on the same day her family is planning to host a party.

Mansfield’s short stories make the reader aware of the superficiality of social conventions and confront us with the complex and often darker spheres of human nature. If you are looking for a comprehensive introduction to her short stories – here is an article from the British Library.

Happy reading! Do you have any short stories you absolutely love? Share them with us!

Sarah and Simon