Winter's Tales

David Hughes, Editor St. Martin's Press $13.95 (224p) ISBN 978-0-312-88422-2
Between 1955 and 1981, a series of short-story anthologies with this title appeared annually at Christmas, showcasing outstanding works from illustrious and lesser-known authors. The series resumes with this slim volume, which includes 10 tales by Muriel Spark, James Chatto, Rachel Billington, Rachel Gould and others. Spark's ""The Executor'' tells of deceitful Susan Kyle, entrusted with donating her deceased uncle's literary effects to a university. Susan retains one unfinished manuscript, but ominous, newly written notes from her uncle appear on its pages. In ``Hans Pfeifer'' by Giles Gordon, an Austrian villager becomes disoriented when his regimented daily routine alters slightly. Cees Nooteboom's tale of a photographer obsessed with an enigmatic Japanese model, ``Mokusei: A Love Story,'' is memorable for its intensity and elegiac tone. Equally distinguished is Clare Colvin's ``Near Forelanders Kop,'' an account of a tragic accident that reveals the latent racism of a white couple in South Africa. These stories cogently indicate the complexity of human nature, and they complement each other well. February 27
Reviewed on: 01/01/1986
Release date: 01/01/1986
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