Thursday, September 1, 2011

Art of the Novella Wrap-Up

The Art of the Novella Challenge officially drew  to a close yesterday. I read three novellas to reach the 'captivated' level.

Lady Susan was, by far, my favorite. The combination of Jane Austen's wit and the epistolary form will surely be a highlight of my reading year.  Tolstoy's novella was a reread, but Pevear and Volokhonsky's translation made it new again. The Dead was a wonderful surprise - a lovely story, beautifully written, and totally accessible. Perhaps it's time to rethink my position on James Joyce? Either way, don't expect to see Ulysses on my reading list any time soon.

 The challenge may be over, but I plan to read several more of these small treasures before the end of the year. On my shelf (or iPad):

  • May Day by F. Scott Fitzgerald
  • The Devil by Leo Tolstoy
  • The Country of the Pointed Firs by Sarah Orne Jewett

Thanks so much, Frances, for coming up with this challenge, and thank you, Melville House, for assembling a fabulous collection of novellas. August has certainly been a memorable month!


  1. I loaded Lady Susan on my kindle after reading your review. It's one I haven't read yet but it sounds quite good. I've enjoyed being introduced to your three novellas. Good work on the challenge.

    I found your comment on Let the Great World Spin in spam - just where you predicted. I'm sorry that Wordpress doesn't seem to like you. I like you, so don't stop visiting.

  2. Margot - You are definitely in for a treat with Lady Susan! Don't know what I've done to offend Wordpress. They've had me marked as a spammer for a couple of years now... frustrating, but I won't stop visiting :-)

  3. I wish I had done this challenge - everyone seems to have got a lot out of it.

    I think I'll put Lady Susan on my kindle :)

  4. Sam - It's never too late to read novellas! Even though the challenge is over, I plan to keep reading them. Hope you love Lady Susan as much as I did.

  5. I haven't read any of these, but the first two are on my list. Accessible Joyce, you say? I'm still skeptical...

  6. Erin - Hard to believe, I know. The Dead is the last story in Joyce's Dubliners... give it a try!


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