My Mistress’s Sparrow Is Dead: Great Love Stories, from Chekhov to Munro

20140529-221600-80160539.jpgI love short stories. And I love LOVE stories. So I bought this book prepared to be heartbroken and joyful and wallow in the genius of truly magnificent writing. After all the book promises these are the GREAT love stories.

Well I started reading. And eventually I slowed down. I wasn’t looking forward to each story. I just wanted to finish the bloody book. Hardly any of the stories moved me. Did I have a heart of stone?

I finally twigged what the problem was when I looked at the authors list at the back of the book.


21 out of 27 of the authors are male.

6 are female

21 are American

26 are white

So what you have is a book of love stories from the view point of mostly white American men collected by a white American man.

I am appalled. How limited is the reading list of Jeffrey Eugenides? And who on earth thought it was a good idea to let him pick a short story collection?

If you are a white male then you will probably love this book. If not and you are bored to tears by the white male dominated culture of fiction, journalism, tv and cinema then give this book a miss. It’s not worth the effort or the snores.


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