Books / Writing Inspiration

why everyone should read Katherine Mansfield

This morning I finished reading Katherine Mansfield’s The Garden Party and Other Stories and was nicely blown away.

As I said on my quick review on Goodreads, I’d read ‘Miss Brill’ and ‘Life of Ma Parker’ already, once back in high school then again at university. So I knew already that I was reading a book full of subtelties and would probably get a little teary here and there. What I didn’t expect was to find that every single story left me with that feeling (you know the one).

Mansfield crafted every story so carefully that each character grabbed me within a few sentences, and I was attached to them. I cared whether the teacher’s fiancee was really breaking off their engagement and I cared whether Miss Brill got her almond and I cared about the married woman who had a man die in her arms.

While I was reading I was trying to work out how Mansfield was doing what she was doing; how she was wielding the short story into such an amazing form. It’s never gripped me so much in all my life. Never before have I read a book of short stories and thought fleetingly to myself:

All I want to do is write short stories. I want to do this and nothing else

which of course isn’t entirely true, but that’s how she made me feel.

I can’t pin-point exactly what it is that makes Mansfield’s stories so incredible. I just recommend that everyone read them at some point. I feel like they taught me a lot, even if I’m not sure what that is. But it’s somewhere in the back of my mind now. And I hope whatever it is will show through in my own stories, and that they’ll be even half as good as the amazing Katherine Mansfield’s.


One thought on “why everyone should read Katherine Mansfield

  1. Pingback: Happy Birthday Mansfield! | little rockets

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