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IN-PRINT TITLE INFORMATION

 

SINISTER ROMANCE
by Mary Heaton Vorse
edited, with an Introduction,
by Jessica Amanda Salmonson

ISBN: 1-55310-031-X; xx + 120pp
Published 22 March 2002

Price: Cdn$49.00 / US$36.50 / 23.00 (Postage Code A)
 

Mary Heaton Vorse (1874–1966) was, in the first decades of the last century, an important voice arguing for the rights of women and the workers of America. She was fearless in her beliefs, and risked her life in order to gain first-hand knowledge of the conditions in which people lived and worked, so that she might accurately present their plight to a largely uncaring world. Born in America and raised in Europe, she was as at home mingling with New York literary society as she was in Russia, discussing Communism with Lenin.

Vorse was also a respected and admired writer of short fiction. Between 1918 and 1921 she was thrice selected for the annual Best Short Stories collection, and was selected for Prize Stories and the O. Henry Memorial Award in 1922 and 1926. Among her stories are a handful of supernatural works, which are now gathered together for the first time by Jessica Amanda Salmonson. They are not tales meant to chill the blood; as Jane Yolen writes in her preface, Vorse's hauntings tell of 'the quiet horrors of the heart', and are written with 'an elegant cadenced prose' that captures the torture of loving souls who are forced to confront the dark secrets within themselves and those around them. Whether she is writing of a puzzled child encountering his mother's ghost, or of the implacable hatred that exists between a captain's wife and her husband's ship, Vorse shows a remarkable understanding of the passions, jealousies, loves, and hates which haunt us all.

CONTENTS: Preface by Jane Yolen; Introduction: The Sinister Romances of Mary Heaton Vorse by Jessica Amanda Salmonson; The Heart of the House; The Second Wife; The Mirror of Silence; The Pavilion of Saint Merci; The Other Room; The ‘Madelaine’; The Halfway House.

Jacket art is by Deborah McMillion-Nering.
Edition limited to 500 copies.

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Ash-Tree Press 2003