Linda Burnell dreams, listless and distant, whilst downstairs her mother sets in order the family’s new home in the New Zealand countryside. Her vigorous and exhausting husband, Stanley, is at the office, but will return with eager and admiring eyes. Her
children prepare lunch on a concrete step and her sister sings love songs to an imaginary young man.
This is The Aloe
, which Katherine Mansfield wrote to crystallise the memories of her childhood. It was reworked to become her acclaimed Prelude
. But the original is very different – in style, detail and texture – giving us a wonderful short novel in its own right. The text has been prepared by Vincent O’Sullivan, the renowned Mansfield scholar.
Writing in the Katherine Mansfield Studies Journal, Dr. Bruce Harding (of the University of Canterbury, New Zealand) said that:
"We owe Capuchin Classics a debt of gratitude for making this seminal text in the Mansfield canon accessible in a portable and inexpensive format."
to visit the Katherine Mansfield website.
- Katherine Mansfield (1888-1923) was born in Wellington, New Zealand,
but moved to Europe in 1903. In London she befriended modernist writers
such as D.H Lawrence and Virginia Woolf. Her own work influenced by
Anton Chekhov, is thought by many to have taken the short story form to
its ultimate pitch.
- Kirsty Gunn is the author of five novels, The Boy and the Sea
, The Keepsake
and This Place You Return to Is Home
, and a collection of writing and poems, 44 Things
. She lives with her family in London and Scotland.Please visit British Council Contemporary Writers for more details about Kirsty Gunn.