Having nearly finished the book I borrowed from the Library, I have become a real fan of these short stories. Most are incredibly bittersweet, many are poignant, only a few are happy. I decided to find out more about the author and have discovered that she is regarded as one of the first Modernist writers. Why had I not heard of her before? I think this is because she wrote short stories - there was never a major novel that earned her fame or fortune. Her short stories are superbly constructed and the characterisations are masterly. I felt as though I knew these people, even though they only have a few pages in which to tell their story. A couple of them were particularly moving; "Life of Ma Parker", which describes the life of a char lady, with all the disappointments and tragedy that life has thrown her way and "Miss Brill", who goes every Sunday in her fur collar to listen to the band and indulge in some people watching. She happens to overhear a conversation and I really felt her pain as she returns home with her life utterly destroyed.
Katherine Mansfield was only thirty five when she died of tuberculosis. I have bought her complete works so that I can read more of her fascinating stories and continue to find out more about her and her work.