Short Stories All the Time

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... a few of my thoughts about 900, mostly contemporary, short stories.
Showing posts with label Brennan. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Brennan. Show all posts

04 August, 2011

Maeve Brennan, "The Anachronism," "The Gentleman in the Pink-and-White Striped Shirt," and "The Joker"

"The Anachronism" was originally published in the New Yorker in January of 1954. Liza Frye lives in Herbert's Retreat with her wealthy husband who apparently does nothing but spend the work day at his club and worry how to keep his money. Liza's biggest concern is how to keep the ladies in her neighborhood of being too pleased with themselves. Naturally, this leads to hilarity for the reader and frustration for "poor" Liza.

Charles Runyon shows up again in "The Gentleman in the Pink-and-White Striped Shirt" stealing his neighbor's newspaper which begins a day of small disasters on his way to meet his benefactress Leona Harkey.

In "The Joker," Isobel Bailey, another resident at Herbert's Retreat invites waifs to Christmas dinner. I love these stories by Brennan because they let the reader watch wealthy high-society types make fools of themselves and receive their comeuppance revealing their mean spirits.

31 July, 2011

Maeve Brennan, "The View from the Kitchen"

"The View from the Kitchen" was first published in 1953 in the New Yorker. It is a fabulously fun story. Two maids are watching a threesome from the kitchen window.

A husband has recently died and the widow quickly marries another for his view of the Hudson River. The best part of the story is the way we learn the details of the lives of Mr. and Mrs. George Harkey, the late Mr. Finch, and the "friend" Mr. Charles Runyon through the dialogue of Bridie and Agnes, the maids / cooks who are hilarious; I loved this story.

"The View from the Kitchen" is included in the collection entitled The Rose Garden, published in 2000.

Maeve Brennan wrote "The Talk of the Town" for the New Yorker for more than thirty years as The Long-Winded Lady. She died in 1993 at the age of seventy-six. She was from Ireland but moved to the states when she was seventeen.

Wikipedia biography of Brennan
Maeve Brennan, relative's website
link to audio of "Home for the Holidays" and some discussion about Brennan and her homeland