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Anansi International

Midsummer Night in the Workhouse

Written by Diana Athill

Published September 01, 2011 | ISBN 9781770890640
FICTION / Short Stories

Cover of Midsummer Night in the Workhouse

Regular price $16.95 CAD

208 pages
Digital Format

About this book

Midsummer Night in the Workhouse

Diana Athill

"I can remember in detail being hit by my first story one January morning in 1958." So begins literary legend Diana Athill in the preface to Midsummer Night in the Workhouse, a long-overdue collection of her short fiction, stories which were originally published in the 1950s to the 1970s.

In unsentimental though often touching prose, Athill’s young women anticipate, enjoy, or just miss out on brief sexual encounters with men met on trains, at parties -- just about anywhere they can. A cheating wife, back with her boring husband, is wracked with agonizing love for the unavailable partner of her brief fling; a writer seeks inspiration at a writers’ retreat whilst avoiding the group seducer’s invitation; a wife’s party flirtations propel her possessive husband into another woman’s bed; two fun-loving women face a sinister sexual assault during a Greek holiday; a teenager experiences enraptured detachment during her first kiss.

Beautifully written, perceptive, touching, and funny, Midsummer Night in the Workhouse is Diana Athill at her best.

About the Author

Diana Athill

DIANA ATHILL (1917–2019) was a novelist, book editor, and memoirist. She helped André Deutsch establish the publishing company that bore his name and worked as an editor for Deutsch for four decades. Athill’s distinguished career is the subject of her acclaimed memoir Stet. She was the author of seven other volumes of memoirs: Instead of a Letter; After a Funeral; Yesterday Morning; Make Believe; Somewhere Towards the End; Alive, Alive Oh!; and A Florence Diary. She also published two collections of short stories and a collection of letters. Her only novel, Don’t Look at Me Like That, was first published in 1967. Athill won the Costa Biography Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award for Somewhere Towards the End, and she was appointed to the Order of the British Empire.

Awards and Praise
[Diana Athill's] collected fiction writing from the 1950s through the 1970s is a handsome garland on a long career...