Midsummer Night in the Workhouse

Midsummer Night in the Workhouse

Book - 2011
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"I can remember in detail being hit by my first story one January morning in 1958." So begins literary legend Diana Athill in the preface to Midsummer Night in the Workhouse, a long-overdue collection of her short fiction, originally published in the 1950s to the 1970s. In unsentimental though often touching prose, Athill's young women anticipate, enjoy, or just miss out on brief sexual encounters with men met on trains, at parties -- just about anywhere they can. A cheating wife, back with her boring husband, is wracked with agonizing love for the unavailable partner of her brief fling; a writer seeks inspiration at a writers' retreat whilst avoiding the group seducer's invitation; a wife's party flirtations propel her possessive husband into another woman's bed; two fun-loving women face a sinister sexual assault during a Greek holiday; a teenager experiences enraptured detachment during her first kiss. Beautifully written, perceptive, touching, and funny, Midsummer Night in the Workhouse is Diana Athill at her best.
Publisher: Toronto : Anansi International, 2011.
ISBN: 9781770890619
Branch Call Number: ATH
Characteristics: ix, 195 pages ;,20 cm


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Oct 08, 2017

Short stories, all of which were illuminating, interesting and engaging. The stories reflect a time in the mid-twentieth century when women were beginning to consider careers, and marriages, in different terms than their mothers and grandmothers did, so these stories are a reflection of those times. A couple of decades before my time of dating and so forth, but I could definitely relate to the characters.

MAggiemme Oct 26, 2013

What a treasure. I LOVED these stories. One of the best things I have read this year. I am intrigued by the short story and thought the slice of life/feeling/impression these vignettes offered, stayed with me far past the completion of the story. Her female characters are curious, creative, bold and exploring life. I felt right there with them.

I did not enjoy the subject matter of these short stories. I felt the author was just too lazy to draw out the plot and characterizations into a more substantial format.

ser_library Oct 16, 2011

well written

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