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I Cannot Tell a Lie, Exactly

by Gavell, Mary Ladd

  • ISBN: 9780375506123
  • ISBN10: 0375506128

I Cannot Tell a Lie, Exactly

by Gavell, Mary Ladd

  • List Price: $21.95
  • Binding: Hardcover
  • Publisher: Random House Trade
  • Publish date: 12/01/2001
  • ISBN: 9780375506123
  • ISBN10: 0375506128
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Description: The managing editor of Psychiatry magazine, Mary Ladd Gavell died in 1967 at the age of forty-seven, and her colleagues at the magazine ran her story "The Rotifer" as a memorial. "The Rotifer" was chosen for Best American Short Stories of 1967 and again for Best American Short Stories of the Century. It has been, until now, her only published work.

In "The Swing", we are mesmerized by an aging woman's memories of her son's childhood when she is summoned outside, night after night, by the creak of his old swing. "Baucis" introduces a woman, longing for widowhood, who is not only cheated of the respite she craves but whose last words are tragically misunderstood by a family eager to pay tribute to her role as wife and mother. In the anthologized classic "The Rotifer", which Updike describes as an "airy, melancholy pastiche which leaps s so gracefully from the microscopic to the historic to the contemporarily romantic", a young woman learns the extent to which a bit of innocent interference -- or the refusal to interfere -- can change the course of lives.

Gavell's great skill and style, and the sad undercurrent that runs through much of her work, make her stories timeless and utterly beguiling.

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