The Wedding Party, first published in 1965 (Michael Joseph), is a collection of short stories evoking both the dark and light, and the comedy and tragedy in human nature. Bates employs a deceptive delicateness of touch in his descriptions and character sketches, here mastering the true essentials of the art of the short story; he says much by saying little, what is left out more poignant than the words on the page.With a host of larger than life characters, we meet the scheming and eccentric Aunt Leonora, who fibs her way through the comic tale 'The Picnic'. The collection also unites two loveable rogues Captain Poopdeck and Uncle Silas, and brings us the farcical tale 'Early One Morning' which provide a sharp contrast with the sombre and haunting tones of pieces like 'The Primrose Place' and 'The Winter Sound', and the lyrical but bitter episode of 'The Wedding Party' itself.
av H.E. Bates
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