The Oxford book of twentieth-century ghost stories

Format: Print Book 1996
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Collection  Fiction
 
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Summary
"The ghosts of fiction were not killed off by the advent of the electric light, the invention of the telephone, the coming of the motor car, or even by the once unthinkable horrors of technological warfare. Instead they took over the trappings, landscapes, and cultural assumptions of the twentieth century for their ancient purposes." Thus Michael Cox introduces The Oxford Book of Twentieth-Century Ghost Stories, a unique collection of 33 of the best and most chilling ghost stories of our era.
The first anthology to trace the evolution of the ghost story over the last one hundred years, this book demonstrates the variety and versatility of the genre and the different ways in which stories of the supernatural have adapted to twentieth-century venues and concerns. In these tales we encounter not only the returning dead, but also distinctly modern phantoms: a haunted typewriter, a ghost that travels by train, and an urban specter made of smoke and soot. There are child ghosts and haunted houses, playful spooks and deadly apparitions. The authors of these uncanny tales are as diverse as the kinds of stories they tell; there are ghost stories by such specialists as M.R. James and Algernon Blackwood and many by authors not commonly associated with the genre: F. Scott Fitzgerald, Edith Wharton, Graham Greene, A.S. Byatt, and Angela Carter are only a few of the literary celebrities included in this collection. At a time when our era seems to grow increasingly rational and predictable,The Oxford Book of Twentieth Century Ghost Stories reminds us of the joys of uncertainty and wonder. Distinctive and gripping, these stories will linger long in the memory.
Contents
In the dark / E. Nesbit
Rooum / Oliver Onions
The shadowy third / Ellen Glasgow
The diary of Mr. Poynter / M.R. James
Mrs. Porter and Miss Allen / Hugh Walpole
The nature of the evidence / May Sinclair
Night-fears / L.P. Hartley
Bewitched / Edith Wharton
A short trip home / F. Scott Fitzgerald
Blind man's buff / H. Russell Wakefield
The blackmailers / Algernon Blackwood
Yesterday street / Thomas Burke
Smoke ghost / Fritz Leiber Jun.
The cheery soul / Elizabeth Bowen
All but empty / Graham Greene
Three miles up / Elizabeth Jane Howard
Close behind him / John Wyndham
The quincunx / Walter de la Mare
The tower / Marghanita Laski
Poor girl / Elizabeth Taylor
I kiss your shadow / Robert Bloch
A woman seldom found / William Sansom
The Portobello Road / Muriel Spark
Ringing the changes / Robert Aickman
On terms / Christine Brooke-Rose
The only story / William Trevor
The loves of Lady Purple / Angela Carter
Revenant as typewriter / Penelope Lively
The little dirty girl / Joanna Russ
Watching me, watching you / Fay Weldon
The July ghost / A.S. Byatt
The highboy / Alison Lurie
The meeting house / Jane Gardam.

Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "Two new collections of genre stories will have great appeal to appreciators of the story form. A practitioner of the art of gothic storytelling herself, Joyce Carol Oates gathers 46 gothic tales from American literature's rich past and provocative present. There are famous writers; there are also writers with whom most readers will be totally unfamiliar. Regardless, each story carries its own weight; not one fails to engross and entertain. Two of the best are William Goyen's disturbing, difficult "In the Icebound Hothouse," a tale of obsession, and Nicholas Baker's perfectly sinister "Subsoil." Cox has gathered ghost stories, which never go out of style. Readers will see why in Elizabeth Jane Howard's immensely inventive "Three Miles Up," about two men and a woman they pick up on a canal trip, and William Sansom's very short but absolutely delicious "A Woman Seldom Found," concerning a young man on a trip to Rome and a strange woman he meets. Many of the authors included here are expected choices, including M. R. James and Algernon Blackwood; others may come as a surprise (they wrote ghost stories?)--Alison Lurie and A. S. Byatt are among these. --Brad Hooper"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Additional Information
Subjects Ghost stories, English.
Ghost stories, American.
Publisher Oxford ; New York :Oxford University Press,1996
Other Titles Twentieth-century ghost stories
Contributors Cox, Michael, 1948-2009.
Language English
Description xix, 425 pages ; 23 cm
Bibliography Notes Includes bibliographical references (pages [411]-421).
ISBN 0192142607
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