Agatha Christie, Sparkling Cyanide
(by Abby Billington)
Editor Mary Helen Washington offered three quotations to frame the collection…
“And she had nothing to fall back on: not maleness, not whiteness, not ladyhood, not anything. And out of profound desolation of her reality, she may very well have invented herself.” — Toni Morrison
“Black-eyed Susan: ‘A slight, pretty flower that grows on any ground; and flowers pledge no allegiance to banners of any man.’” —Alice Walker
“‘De nigger woman is de mule uh de world so fur as Ah can see.”
—Nannie, from “Their Eyes Were Watching God”by Zora Neale Hurston
This book combines in one volume two now classic short story collections. The editor has added a new introduction and prefatory material. “Mary Helen Washington has had a greater impact upon the formation of the canon of Afro-American literature than has any other scholar.” —The New York Times Book Review
A wonderful story by Baptiste Sibé
She was a person you would not be surprised to find sitting by herself in a corner of the world where she didn’t belong, writing things in a notebook to prevent the rise of panic.
From “Hold Me Fast, Don’t Let Me Pass” by Alice Munro.
“…the secret of the Great Stories is that they have no secrets. The Great Stories are the ones you have heard and want to hear again. The ones you can enter anywhere and inhabit comfortably. They don’t deceive you with thrills and trick endings. They don’t surprise you with the unforeseen. They are as familiar as the house you live in. Or the smell of your lover’s skin. You know how they end, yet you listen as though you don’t. In the way that although you know that one day you will die, you live as though you won’t. In the Great Stories you know who lives, who dies, who finds love, who doesn’t. And yet you want to know again.
That is their mystery and their magic.”
“He in his madness prays for storms, and dreams that storms will bring him peace”
― Leo Tolstoy, The Death of Ivan Ilych