'Slippery British': Katherine Mansfield's Legacy in the UK

Ailsa Cox

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

In his introduction to The Penguin Book of the British Short Story (2015) Philip Hensher explains his decision to exclude Katherine Mansfield as one of those writers “conferring merit on their place of birth rather than their residence” (xiii). Yet Mansfield is often included in surveys of British short fiction; and, as I demonstrate, her work has been a formative influence on the British short story, especially for women writers, including many, if not most, selected by Hensher. Through a close reading of selected stories by Mansfield and the contributions in Hensher's anthology from A.S. Byatt, Tessa Hadley, Ali Smith and Janice Galloway, I identify some of the techniques and themes that form a continuity between Mansfield's short fiction and that of contemporary writers, exploring the evasive and sometimes contested questions of national identity and form raised by Hensher's introduction.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationRe-forming World Literature: Katherine Mansfield and the Modernist Short Story
EditorsGerri Kimber, Janet Wilson
PublisherHanover: Ibidem Verlag
Pages93-112
ISBN (Print)9783838211138
Publication statusPublished - 27 Apr 2018

Keywords

  • Katherine Mansfield
  • A.S. Byatt
  • Janice Galloway
  • Tessa Hadley
  • Ali Smith
  • British short story

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