(Book Jacket Status: Jacketed) These three brilliantly wrought, tragic vellas explore the repressed emotions and destructive passions of working-class people far removed from the social milieu usually inhabited by Edith Wharton's characters. Ethan Frome is one of Wharton's most famous works; it is a tightly constructed and almost unbearably heartbreaking story of forbidden love in a swbound New England village. Summer, also set in rural New England, is often considered a companion to Ethan Frome -Wharton herself called it the hot Ethan -in its portrayal of a young woman's sexual and social awakening. Bunner Sisters takes place in the narrow, dusty streets of late nineteenth-century New York City, where the constrained but peaceful lives of two spinster shopkeepers are shattered when they meet a man who becomes the unworthy focus of all their pent-up hopes. All three of these vellas feature realistic and haunting characters as vivid as any Wharton ever conjured, and together they provide a superb introduction to the shorter fiction of one of our greatest writers.
Edith Wharton was born into a privileged New York family in 1862 and died in France in 1937. In addition to her works as a novelist, most famously The House of Mirth, The Age of Innocence, The Custom of the Country, and Ethan Frome, she also was a renowned interior designer, and was the first woman to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction.