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The Lady from Guatemala is a collection of stories from one of the most distinguished short story writers in English. From first to last, V.S. Pritchett's writing displays a shrewd understanding of class and character and a quick ear for the inner, deeper rhythms of dialogue. His subject matter is always human nature, its peculiarity, its tenacity...
His prose is clear, his observation complex and multi-layered. Pritchett's stories invite and merit re-reading and, what is more important, they encourage us to look again at those parts of life we like to think are settled.
Victor Sawdon Pritchett (1900-1997) was born over a toyshop in 1900 and, much to his everlasting distaste, was named after Queen Victoria. A writer and critic, his is widely reputed to be one of the best short story writers of all time, with the rare ability to capture the extraordinary strangeness of everyday life. He died in 1997.
I can't write a review long enough to do this collection justice. Pritchett rarely travels into the realm of fantasy or the surreal, instead choosing to write modern tales of English life. Some of his strongest works focus on the post-war years and involve affairs and the trials of married life. Pritchett wrote in such perfect detail that it's easy to imagine his characters as real people. His character interactions and their emotions truly drive the story. Excellent collection. I'm sure I'll read more.
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