The resurgence of interest in Katherine Mansfield (1888-1923) in recent years has grown to the extent that she is now perceived as 'the most emblematic woman writer of her time'. Mansfield researchers have been frequently frustrated by the lack of a complete edition of her fiction. There are several editions of her stories in print, but these omit many pieces not already collected and published in the volumes edited by Mansfield's husband John Middleton Murry after her death, from which present 'collected' editions derive.
This Edinburgh edition of her stories, published to coincide with the ninetieth anniversary of her death in 1923, is a truly complete collection of the author's fiction writing. The editors have sought to include hitherto uncollected or rarely seen stories and prose fragments as well as the instantly recognisable stories. Placed in chronological order and fully annotated with clear, concise notes, this edition undertakes a complete remapping of the author's fiction output, from her earliest childhood pieces to the pitch-perfect quality of the mature writer at the height of her craft, thereby redefining Katherine Mansfield as a writer for the twenty-first century.
- Brings together all of Mansfield's extant fiction
- Refocuses critical attention on one of the most influential exponents of modernist fiction
- The essential Mansfield text for individual scholars working on Mansfield studies, as well as those with a more general interest in Mansfield the writer
- Redefines Mansfield as a writer for the next generation
About the Author
Vincent O’Sullivan, Professor Emeritus, Victoria University of Wellington, is the world’s foremost Mansfield scholar and is President of the Katherine Mansfield Society. He has edited, with Margaret Scott, the five volume edition of Katherine Mansfield’s Collected Letters, published by Oxford University Press. He is also widely published as a poet, fiction writer, playwright, and biographer.
"This much needed and very welcome work does two important things: It gives us all of Mansfield’s fiction, with useful notes; and it removes many of John Middleton Murry’s intrusions into the stories he edited after Mansfield’s death. We all owe the editors, Gerri Kimber and Vincent O’Sullivan, a debt of gratitude for this excellent edition of the work of a major modernist writer."
Professor Robert Scholes, Brown University.
"We owe to her the prosperity of the "free" story,' Elizabeth Bowen said of Katherine Mansfield: 'she untrammelled it from conventions.' Here, at last, is the evidence in full: the edition Mansfield deserves."
Professor David Trotter, King Edward VII Professor of English Literature, University of Cambridge
Kimber and O’Sullivan have produced a work of superb scholarship that is clearly also a labour of love. Their Edinburgh Edition of the Collected Works of Katherine Mansfield, containing every fragment as well as all the finished stories (some rescued from the meddlesome editorial hands of her second husband, John Middleton Murry, and restored to their original state), undeniably establishes her as a great modernist writer.
‘The editors of the collected fiction are unstinting in their attention to detail, dating and biography. Their efforts give us a picture of an artist discovering what it is she wants to do to be different from the rest, to find a story and a way of telling it that will be hers and hers alone.’
The Edinburgh University Press volumes will finally make available, almost a century after her death, a complete, scholarly edition of the collected works of Katherine Mansfield. This, in other words, is an important publishing moment not only for New Zealand literature but for early twentieth-century literary scholarship more generally. And central to this venture are the two volumes of fiction, which themselves constitute a significant step towards the complete and definitive publication of the work of the period’s most original, prolific, and indeed influential short story writer.