“Genius” Katherine Mansfield’s “frantic creative flourishing” collected in ‘Strange Bliss’
“One of the genuine, if frequently under-recognised, geniuses of 20th-century literature, Katherine Mansfield wrote the majority of her short stories during a frantic creative flourishing between 1920 and 1922 while suffering from the tuberculosis that would end her life at the age of 34,” Wall Street Journal critic Sam Sacks writes in a review of a newly published collection by the New Zealand-born author.
“[British-based] Pushkin Press, which has earned a reputation for publishing attractive collections of classic short fiction, has brought out Strange Bliss, grouping six stories from Mansfield’s truncated career,” Sacks writes.
“Strange Bliss offers a well-chosen sample of work, though the subtitle’s claim that these are Mansfield’s ‘Essential Stories’ rather scants the significance of an author who is already prone to being overlooked. In fact, very few of her stories – she wrote almost 90, including those unfinished at her death – could be called inessential, and this may be a case where it’s worth the effort to track down an older, collected edition.”
Original article by Sam Sacks, The Wall Street Journal, August 20, 2021.