Cover image for Collected stories
Collected stories
Gilchrist, Ellen, 1935-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
Boston, MA : Little, Brown, [2000]

Physical Description:
x, 563 pages ; 25 cm
The famous poll at Jody's Bar -- Revenge -- There's a Garden of Eden -- In the land of dreamy dreams -- 1944 -- Summer, an elegy -- Victory over Japan -- Music -- Jade Buddhas, red bridges, fruits of love -- Miss Crystal's maid name Traceleen, she's talking, she's telling everything she knows -- Traceleen, she's still talking -- Drunk with love -- The young man -- Traceleen at dawn -- Anna, part 1 -- Some blue hills at sundown -- The Starlight Express -- Light can be both wave and particle -- Traceleen turns east -- Mexico -- A statue of Aphrodite -- Among the mourners -- The stucco house -- The uninsured -- Perhaps a miracle -- Lunch at the best restaurant in the world -- You must change your life -- The brown cape -- Fort Smith -- A prologue -- A tree to be desired -- Witness to the crucifixion -- A lady with pearls -- The Southwest experimental fast oxide reactor.
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For the first time, a compilation of Ellen Gilchrist's best & best-loved short stories, selected by the author herself from her fifteen previous works of fiction. With the publication of 1983's The Annunciation, Ellen Gilchrist established herself as a teller of charming, bittersweet tales of the modern South. Since then, her works of fiction - sixteen in all - have built up a solid base of dedicated fans. With her uncanny insights into human character & the bittersweet complications of love, Ellen Gilchrist occupies a unique place in American fiction.

Author Notes

She is the author of 16 works of fiction, including the story collection Victory Over Japan, which won the National Book Award & most recently, The Cabal & Other Stories. She lives in Fayetteville, Arkansas, Ocean Springs, Mississippi & New Orleans, Louisiana.

(Bowker Author Biography)

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gilchrist's celebrated writing life began with a book of short stories, In the Land of the Dreamy Dreams (1984), and her second collection, Victory over Japan, won the 1985 National Book Award. She has switched back and forth between novels and short stories ever since, and her dulcet yet tensile voice has become an integral part of American literature. Gilchrist has now selected 34 of her favorite stories from seven collections to create a potent and pleasingly cohesive volume that showcases her deep sense of place and, the most salient feature of her work, her lusty, unpredictable, and unapologetic heroines. Gilchrist's women have refused to be contained within single stories. No matter how often she finds someone new to write about, and how far away she moves from the settings she knows best, and which she so affectionately yet critically portrays, such as Fayetteville, Arkansas, and New Orleans, her feisty and outspoken heroines track her down and insist on continuing their lives. Here, readers first meet the fearless and competitive Rhoda Katherine Manning as an ambitious third-grader and follow her through an elegant adulthood of extravagant gestures and determined independence. Nora Jane Whittington, a self-declared anarchist, leaves New Orleans for San Francisco, where she wins the adoration of the heroic Freddy Harwood, learns all about earthquakes, and becomes the mother of twin girls. And then there's Miss Crystal and her sharp-eyed maid, Traceleen. In each intriguing tale, Gilchrist brilliantly illuminates some quirky aspect of human nature, whether it's the territorial instinct at work in a snooty tennis club, the need for poetry and music, marital friction, the complexities of race, or the mysteries of love, all the while granting readers the boon of her humor, wisdom, and beautifully crafted prose.

Library Journal Review

Gilchrist's characters are real to her, as is evidenced by the selections she has made from seven previous works (e.g., The Courts of Love) to include in this collection. She has imagined entire lives, and her stories visit and revisit them at various points from childhood to late middle age. These characters have networks of relatives and friends, some of whom pop up unexpectedly in other stories. Readers will enjoy getting to know the irrepressible Rhoda Manning and her brother and cousins, Nora Jane and her twins, Miss Crystal and her chatty maid Traceleen. Gilchrist is an important voice in contemporary Southern fiction, and this book belongs in every library. Highly recommended.DChristine DeZelar-Tiedman, New Brighton, MN (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.