The Garden Party and Other Stories

Published in 1922, The Garden Party and Other Stories was Katherine Mansfield’s third collection of short stories and the last to be published before her death in 1923. Mansfield contracted pulmonary tuberculosis whilst in France in 1918, which equated to a death sentence according to the medicine of the period. She channelled the devastation and anguish of this diagnosis into her work, and wrote urgently, prolifically and to great acclaim in the final five years of her life. The year she wrote the stories in Garden Party (1920–21) was the most fruitful period of her short writing career. The collection is infused with a sense of the ineffable, as Mansfield probed below the surface and beyond appearances. Many of the stories’ episodes, characters and settings are, in part, autobiographical, particularly those set in New Zealand, Mansfield’s home country. ‘The Garden Party’ – one of Mansfield’s best-known works – is set in Mansfield’s childhood home in Tinakori Road, and explores a death that happened on nearby Saunders Road, the day her family had a garden party.

Creator:
Katherine Mansfield
Published:
1922
Forms:
Prose

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An introduction to Katherine Mansfield's short stories

Article by:
Stephanie Forward
Themes:
Exploring identity, Literature 1900–1950, Capturing and creating the modern

Katherine Mansfield was a pioneer of the modern short story. Here Stephanie Forward provides close readings of three short stories from Mansfield’s celebrated 1922 collection, The Garden Party and Other Stories.

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