Book summary: Certain People

1930 BY EDITH WHARTON


Originally published in 1930, Certain People is a collection of six short stories. The book starts with Atrophy, a neat study of near desperation in tight social surroundings as Nora Frenway bravely seeks to visit her gravely ill lover Christopher only to come up against the polite rebuff presented by his domineering sister Jane Aldiss. The final story, Mr Jones, references Poe's The Purloined Letter, using a variation of the central epistolary device while also managing to slip in aspects of Poe's own life history, in particular his marriage to the his young first cousin.

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