Introduction by JEREMY TREGLOWN
“In his daily walks through London,” notes Jeremy Treglown in his Introduction to this collection, “Pritchett watched and listened to people as a naturalist observes wild creatures and birds. He knew that oddity is the norm, not the exception.” This finely attuned sense, coupled with an understanding that nothing in life is mundane, is what makes these stories so immensely enjoyable. Drawing on a vast treasure chest of writings, Treglown has selected sixteen of Pritchett’s gems, including “A Serious Question,” which makes its debut in book form here. Featuring some of the best work from a long career, this new compilation of Pritchett’s brilliantly compact stories illuminates his legendary skills.
About the Author
On both sides of the Atlantic V.S. Pritchett has been acclaimed as one of the great masters of the short story. He is also distinguished as a critic and a traveller. Born in Suffolk in 1900, he left school at the age of sixteen to work in the leather trade in London. In the Twenties in Paris he worked as a shop assistant and as a shellac salesman, and took to journalism, first during the Irish Civil War and later in Spain. His first book", Marching Spain", the account of a long walk from Badajoz to Vigo, was published in 1928 and from then on travel was his recreation, inspiring evocations of places and peoples in "The Spanish Temper" (1954) and "London Perceived" (1962), both published by The Hogarth Press", Foreign Faces" (1964), "New York Proclaimed" (1965) and "Dublin" (1967). The author of biographies of Balzac and Turgenev, he gave the Clark Lectures on George Meredith in 1969. He was for many years a director of and contributor to the New Statesman. He contributed regularly to the "New Yorker" and the "New York Review of Books". His critical works include "The Living Novel" (1949), "The Myth Makers" (1979), "The Tale Bearers" (1980) and "A Man of Letters" (1985). His two volumes of autobiography", A Cab at the Door" (1968) and "Midnight Oil" (1971), are well known in Great Britain and abroad. His novels include "Nothing Like Leather" (1935), "Dead Man Leading" (1949) and "Mr Beluncle" (1959). The first volume of his Collected Stories appeared in 1982 and More Collected Stories in 1983. V.S. Pritchett died in 1997.
Jeremy Treglown is a British writer and critic who spends part of every year in Spain and has written about the country for "Granta" and other magazines. His previous books include biographies of Roald Dahl, Henry Green (Dictionary of Literary Biography Award), and V. S. Pritchett (short-listed for the Whitbread Award for Biography; Duff Cooper Prize for Literature). A former editor of "The ""Times Literary Supplement" and a Fellow of the New York Public Library's Cullman Center for Writers and Scholars, he has taught at Oxford, University College London, Princeton, and Warwick, and has written for "The New Yorker" and "The New York Times Book Review". Treglown lives in London.