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Winter in the Air comprises eighteen short stores written between 1938 and 1955. Despite the time span Sylvia Townsend Warner’s biographer, Claire Harman, considers this collection the first ‘to seem all-of-a-piece – not unvarious, but more controlled.’
Although better known as a novelist, it is debateable whether that medium saw her at her best. Her short stories are invariably good, compassionate and with a leavening of wit which is, by turns, deeply comical and wryly ironic. Her reputation in this field needs reviving and to assist that Faber Finds are reissuing four volumes of her short stories: Winter in the Air, A Spirit Rises, A Stranger with a Bag and Scenes of Childhood.
The stories in Winter in the Air are: Winter in the Air, Hee-Haw!; The Children’s Grandmother; Evan; A Priestess of Delphi; At the Trafalgar Bakery; Shadwell; Under New Management; At a Monkey’s Breast; Absolom, My Son; A Kitchen Knife; Uncle Blair; Emil; Idenborough; A Funeral at Clovie; A Passing Weakness; The Reredos; A Second Visit.
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