Miss Grief and Other Stories

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I first came across Constance Fenimore Woolson in one of the Aunt Lute anthologies, a fact I recognized when re-reading one of her stories in this collection (Miss Grief). She supported herself and her mother through writing, and once her mother died, she was free to live as an artist in Europe, palling around with Henry James and eventually dying in Italy after falling/jumping out of a window. The stories collected here are all top notch and demonstrate her range, from the idyllic poling around the Great Lakes into rivulets and tiny patches of land to the cousins traipsing about coal country in Ohio inspiring the artistic miner and his sulfur-water wife, from a Union soldier injured in the Civil War then sent to man the national cemetery in the South to the unknown woman writer begging an audience with the famous young writer who doesn’t have her genius but who has fortune and a publisher. Strong writing, highly recommended.