I love Katherine Mansfield’s short stories. I think they’re some of the best I’ve ever read. So when I saw on the Google homepage that it would be her 125th birthday, I just had to make a post.
The amount of careful crafting and detailed character construction that goes into her stories is amazing. If you haven’t read The Garden Party and Other Stories, do it. It was a book that made me want to be a short story writer for life. You can find out what else I thought about it in a past little rockets post here.
But there’s more to Mansfield than Miss Brill or Ma Parker. At uni I learnt that as a young woman Mansfield traveled from New Zealand to England and hung out with the Bloomsbury Group.
What sticks in my mind is a comment on Mansfield from Virginia Woolf: “she stinks like a ____well civet cat that had taken to street walking”. Whoa, there.
So I feel a kind of attachment to her: first reading her work in high school, then analysing the importance of a single almond in university, becoming engrossed in The Garden Party and Other Stories, and feeling totally inspired to write.
I stand by the title of my last post about Mansfield: everyone should read her.
Happy Birthday, Katherine.