A Rose for Emily

I well remember the first time I read Faulkner’s short story “A Rose for Emily.” My father, who was a high school English teacher, had an old volume of classic American short stories.

All were illustrated by beautiful old black and white photos. Of these photos, I now only remember two.

To illustrate a Sarah Orne Jewett story, there was a heavily textured photo of a pine tree. To illustrate “A Rose for Emily,” there was a picture of an impossibly ornate antebellum Southern mansion. But the mansion was no longer in its glory. Like Emily in the story, it was faded and sad and no longer loved.

“A Rose for Emily” may not seem an obvious choice for a volume of love stories.

And yet it is, of course, in its own sad way, a love story indeed, as are all the selections in Jeffrey Eugenides’s “My Mistress’s Sparrow Is Dead: Great Love Stories from Chekhov to Munro.”

If you’re a reader, many of these will already be familiar to you. But they are well worth the re-reading. To see the Monitor’s review of “My Mistress’s Sparrow Is Dead,” click here.

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