The Stories of William Sansom
Hogarth Press, introduction by Elizabeth Bowen
Republished by Faber & Faber, 2011
The stunning collection, introduced by Elizabeth Bowen, offers a gelaming array of Sansom's finest fables, among them 'The Wall, 'A Contest of Ladies', 'Displaced Persons', 'Various Temptations', 'A Saving Grace', 'A Woman Seldom Found', and 'The Vertical Ladder'.
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A Sansom story is a tour de force...Here is a wrtier whose faculties not only suit the short story but are suited by it - suited and, one may feel, enhanced...In the narration there must be an element of conjury, and of that William Sansom is an evident master.
'The Vertical ladder', a short story about a man climbing a very high ladder and becomign more and more afraid...is a masterpiece, at once pure thought and pure action, [one] of the best short stories of the twentieth century.
B.R. Myers, Atlantic
William Sansom [1912-1976] was once described as London's closest equivalent to Franz Kafka. He wrote in hallucinatory detail, bringing every image into pin-sharp focus... Sansom writes of head-aching hatreds and hopeless ecstasies, of malevolent objects and wasted lives... Sansom's publisher described his work as "modern fables", but what makes them so ripe for rediscovery is their freshness and currency.
Christopher Fowler, Independent
The worlds William Sansom surprises into life are populated with gentle stranglers and murderous lovers, with beasts that think like men and men who dream themselves into beasts. Their environs are often menacing and unfailingly strange...