I bought a collection of V.S.Pritchett’s short stories after I won the prize which carries his name. It seemed only polite. I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. Even once I had started to read, I remained puzzled. His stories are so deceptive. On the one hand they appear small, fractured, empty, slightly bland. But they remain in the mind, they nag like minor toothache. With subtle skill, they pin down tiny moments in ordinary lives and make them universal and eloquent. I particularly love ‘Many Are Disappointed.’ One could fall in love with the story for that title alone.
First published in Sailor, Sense of Humour and Other Stories, Alfred A. Knopf, 1956. Collected in the Collected Stories, Chatto & Windus, 1982