Ethan Frome, Summer, Bunner Sisters: Introduction by Hermione Lee

Edith Wharton, Hermione Lee

Ethan Frome, Summer, Bunner Sisters: Introduction by Hermione Lee
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Ethan Frome, Summer, Bunner Sisters: Introduction by Hermione Lee

Edith Wharton, Hermione Lee

These three brilliantly wrought, tragic novellas explore the repressed emotions and destructive passions of working-class people far removed from the social milieu usually inhabited by Edith Wharton’s characters. Ethan Frome is one of Wharton’s most famous works; it is a tightly constructed and almost unbearably heartbreaking story of forbidden love in a snowbound New England village. Summer, also set in rural New England, is often considered a companion to Ethan Frome-Wharton herself called it the hot Ethan -in its portrayal of a young woman’s sexual and social awakening. Bunner Sisters takes place in the narrow, dusty streets of late nineteenth-century New York City, where the constrained but peaceful lives of two spinster shopkeepers are shattered when they meet a man who becomes the unworthy focus of all their pent-up hopes. All three of these novellas feature realistic and haunting characters as vivid as any Wharton ever conjured, and together they provide a superb introduction to the shorter fiction of one of our greatest writers.

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