A Few Days in the Country and Other Stories

A Few Days in the Country and Other Stories Shortlisted for the Stella PrizeInternationally acclaimed for her five brilliant novels Elizabeth Harrower is also the author of a small body of short fiction A Few Days in the Country brings to

  • Title: A Few Days in the Country and Other Stories
  • Author: Elizabeth Harrower
  • ISBN: 9781922253330
  • Page: 165
  • Format: ebook
  • Shortlisted for the 2016 Stella PrizeInternationally acclaimed for her five brilliant novels, Elizabeth Harrower is also the author of a small body of short fiction A Few Days in the Country brings together for the first time her stories published in Australian journals in the 1960s and 1970s, along with those from her archives including Alice , published for the first tShortlisted for the 2016 Stella PrizeInternationally acclaimed for her five brilliant novels, Elizabeth Harrower is also the author of a small body of short fiction A Few Days in the Country brings together for the first time her stories published in Australian journals in the 1960s and 1970s, along with those from her archives including Alice , published for the first time earlier this year in the New Yorker.Essential reading for Harrower fans, these finely turned pieces show a broader range than the novels, ranging from caustic satires to gentler explorations of friendship.Elizabeth Harrower is the author of the novels Down in the City, The Long Prospect, The Catherine Wheel and The Watch Tower all of which have been republished as Text Classics and In Certain Circles, which was published in 2014 and in early 2015 was a BBC Radio 4 Book at Bedtime Elizabeth lives in Sydney Harrower has the disconcerting knack of looking at life and seeing it unadorned Australian Financial Review, Best Books of 2015 Vital, vivid stories by a master storyteller Joan London, Age Sydney Morning Herald, Best Books of 2015 One has to think hard of a book in which so much pleasure has been wrenched from so much pain While the skies are overcast here, what happens on the ground is brightly lit, hilariously cast by lashings of irony and overstatementThis is the work of an activist in disguise as an entertainer John Freeman, Australian EnchantingThat Harrower has, up until recently, been denied a place in the Australian literary canon, is a tragedy one that can only be remedied by reading her A Few Days in the Country And Other Stories is a fantastic place to start Lip Mag Lyrical, insightful and finely tuned Otago Daily Times The range of stories and styles demonstrates Harrower s extraordinary literary skill A Few Days in the Country and Other Stories offers no sure fire formulas, but through its interrogation of characters psychological motivations it affords a deeper understanding of human behaviour Australian Book Review Harrower reveals an astonishing facility to reveal a world in a few brush strokes West Australian A Few Days in the Country continues Harrower s remarkable literary rejuvenation Australian, Best Books of 2015
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      Published :2018-05-13T15:22:51+00:00

    472 Comment

    • Michael Livingston says:

      These stories are about women - women oppressed by family, women uncertain about themselves and women finding small moments of self-belief. Harrower's a lovely writer, but the short story format doesn't give her the time to build up the deep and pervading dread that she manages in The Watch Tower - although she comes close in The Beautiful Climate, the best story in this collection.

    • Debbie Robson says:

      I find it fascinating that in a short story collection readers will select very different stories to mention. One reviewer will find the short story collection superlative, another that it lacks cohesion. Most of the reviewers cited quite different stories as their favourites; all the stories in Harrower’s collection look at how people treat other people, particularly women - how the men (for the most part) dominate, manipulate and sometimes abuse women. And ultimately the effect the abuse has [...]

    • Lizzy Chandler says:

      My first AWW challenge read for the year: A Few Days in the Country: And Other Stories by Elizabeth Harrower. I'm fascinated by the post-war world of working women in Sydney that Harrower draws on in this collection. Her sharp observation of character and the way she conveys nuances of relationships, especially between women, make these stories compelling reading. My favourite was probably the penultimate story, "It is Margaret", the title inspired by one of my favourite poems, one by Gerard Man [...]

    • Lou Heinrich says:

      Quiet stories which paint characters in the most remarkable of ways. A true pleasure to read and great introduction to the work of Elizabeth Harrower.

    • Kate says:

      I’m back in familiar-short-story-territory with Elizabeth Harrower’s A Few Days in the Country and Other Stories. And that territory is uneven. Some of the stories in this collection shone but others, not so much. There are twelve stories, predominantly exploring the different roles of women – in friendship, as mothers and daughters, and as wives.Despite the overarching theme, the collection lacked cohesion. The stories didn’t feel like they belonged together – changes in pace and styl [...]

    • Rebecca says:

      I registered a book at BookCrossing!BookCrossing/journal/14191764

    • Kimbofo says:

      A Few Days in the Country and Other Stories, which was published in Australia last year and has just been long listed for the 2016 Stella Prize, is Elizabeth Harrower's first collection of short stories. There are 12 stories altogether. These include stories originally published in Australian journals in the 1960s and 1970s, a couple of unpublished ones from her archives, and one published for the first time last year in the New Yorker. The collection is billed as “essential reading for Harrow [...]

    • Sarah says:

      This was a quick read but I sadly didn't find many of the stories that memorable, despite them often dealing with rather serious issues. I think my favourite stories were 'It Is Margaret' and 'A Few Days in the Country', even though they both deal with some pretty intense situations.

    • Jaclyn Crupi says:

      I read these stories at work during my lunch break (admittedly perhaps not the best way to enjoy them) and liked them (Harrower is a lovely writer) but I much prefer her novels. I don't think her style is well-suited to the form.

    • Theresa says:

      There was some great writing and an overall theme of women trapped, in relationships with friends, parents, & lovers. While this was a bit of a time capsule, I struggled to connect with any of the stories and often had to re-read paragraphs. It just didn't work for me. 2.5 stars.

    • Jane Gregg says:

      Lovely writing - a very low mood collection.

    • Cassandra Austin says:

      Love her writing, mad about her other books, found these less-er. Still plenty to enjoy, just not the brilliance of her novels, for me.

    • Dulcie says:

      Deft, perceptive & exquisitely tuned, these slices of a vanished Sydney are brilliant. I am new to Harrower; based on this I will be going through here complete works.

    • Angela Long (Carter) says:

      The second of the short story collections, listed for the 2016 Stella Prize, goes beyond the angst of adolescence to delve, with sharp insight, into the emotional states of the human collective.This is the first work I have read by Elizabeth Harrower who was primarily published during the 50’s and 60’s. A contemporary of well loved authors such as Christina Stead and Patrick White, Harrower returned to publishing her work in 2014 with her novel In Certain Circles and in 2015 has brought toge [...]

    • Cass Moriarty says:

      I decided to escape the intensity of the Ferrante novels with a dip into Elizabeth Harrower's book of short stories, A Few Days in the Country and Other Stories, long-listed for this year's Stella Prize. Coincidentally, I found in Harrower's deceptively simple language many similarities with the Italian novelist's way of communicating the world: the tales are often first person, full of introspection and existential angst, asking questions about the purpose of love, anger, grief - all human beha [...]

    • Belinda Rule says:

      Wow, wow. Normally I dogear favourites in a collection, but I liked everything enough that I didn't want to. These are such economical, powerful, truth-telling stories about toxic relationships - and also despair, and how people get trapped. Which sounds unfun, but the sheer feeling of recognition makes it electrifying and uplifting, for me.I bought the collection after being bowled over by 'It is Margaret' when it appeared in Aus Book Review a while ago. About a woman clearing out the house wit [...]

    • Carolyn Mck says:

      I was keen to read this set of stories, collected from the period of Harrower's fictional writing, which ended in the 1970s, although she continued to live and work in Sydney. I had completed her recently reprinted novel, In Certain Circles, and found it impressive if bleak. But I found I didn't enjoy these stories. I had to force myself to return to them (feeling sure I was about to find something remarkable in the next one I read). The writing is excellent, no doubt about it, but a misanthropi [...]

    • Kate (Lillytales) says:

      I picked up Elizabeth Harrower’s collection of short stories, which spans 50 years of her writing, after it was shortlisted for the 2016 Stella Prize. I actually took it away with me when Sim and I had a weekend away at Leongatha and the cosy, country cabin we stayed in was the perfect setting to read Harrower’s collection. A Few Days in the Country contains 12 works of fiction, most of which feature a female lead character at various ages and stages of their lives.Themes of country and iden [...]

    • Brona's Books says:

      Some of the stories contained the emotional punch I was expecting and hoping for - especially the stories that examined the mother/daughter or older/younger woman dynamic (Alice, Summertime and The Cornucopia).Most of us have experienced or witnessed toxic female friendships and we have learnt to keep those people at a distance. The hard part, of course, is when that toxic female is your mother or your boss and escape becomes very difficult. That's what makes Harrower's stories so disturbing. Th [...]

    • Blair says:

      Harrower is one of those 'rediscovered gems' that publishers have resurrected to great acclaim. This collection of stories appear to have mostly been written around the 1960s and a few of them were published at that time while others have just been published in the last couple of years. So although this is a new publication and was shortlisted for this year's Stella Prize it feels like something of a time capsule. I thought a few of the stories were really remarkable, including the title story, [...]

    • Sue says:

      Harrower explores through 12 short stories the fundamental question of how are human beings to treat each other. The stories vary widely in protagonist, from a ten-year-old girl to middle-aged people, in setting and subject matter. Although the stories seem mostly set in the mid twentieth century, the themes are as valid today as ever. The writing is razor-sharp, and takes my breath away. For my full review, please see: whisperinggums/2016/04/14

    • Elina says:

      This is an absolutely beautiful short story collection. Most of the stories are tinged with sadness & tragedy, but it still has a wonderful warmth. All of the characters are complex & fascinating, despite only spending a few pages with them they felt fleshy and real. The collection itself was structured with such finesse, there was a real sense of flow and cohesion between the stories. You felt a sense of careful curation in the collection, as opposed to stories just appearing alongside [...]

    • Maureen says:

      I am a Harrower fan so I looked forward to the arrival of this new book of short stories. They have some significant themes in common with her books, the dominating and cruel husband, controlling men in general, feelings of loss and disengagement and the loneliness of an unloved child.In 'It is Margaret' we are reminded of the utterly claustrophobic feeling engendered by Felix in 'The Watch Tower'. Though short stories never appeal to me the way novels do, I enjoyed reading this volume.

    • Sarah Steed says:

      I'm always glad to read something new by Elizabeth Harrower, and I'm so pleased she's finally getting the recognition she deserves, even at this late stage of her career. That said, I think I prefer her novels to her short stories. Some of these are more successful than others("The Fun of the Fair" and "The Beautiful Climate" are favourites), but her writing has a slow burn that just works better in the long form.

    • Judith says:

      I wasn't familiar with Elizabeth Harrower or any of her other work before reading this collection of short stories, which was enclosed by mistake in my latest review bundle. Having read the collection, there are one or two good stories but unfortunately the majority were disappointing or at best left me feeling indifferent about them.Not my cup of tea I'm afraid, but maybe fans of her work will like them.

    • Nicole says:

      Insightful and beautifully written collection of short stories. There were so many illuminating sentences, particularly in the first few stories. This is a collection I'll probably come back to and read again.Favourite story: Alice

    • Simon Vozick-Levinson says:

      Dark tales of repression and loss, with just enough flashes of hope, related in exquisite prose by a 20th century author who deserves much wider renown. Not every story hits, but the ones that do (particularly the title story and "Alice") are just about perfect.

    • Jessica Jernigan says:

      Harrower can writer a line as well as anyone, and some of these stories are pretty terrific examples of the form. That said, I feel that most of the unpublished work could have remained unpublished, and I much prefer her novels.

    • Kylie Maslen says:

      Loved this gorgeous collection of short stories, and so pleased to be introduced to the work of Elizabeth Harrower. My thoughts on A Few Days in the Country: And Other Stories here: book-plate/chapters/88-a-f

    • Jennifer Rolfe says:

      These short stories share a wonderful insightfulness into human interactions, individual quirks and more interestingly into class in Australia. A great read.

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