Set in the nouveau riche Paris of society women, prostitutes, and playboys; in the Normandy countryside; and on the French Riviera where Maupassant had lived, the thirty-four short stories in this volume are among the most darkly humorous and brilliant in French literature. They focus on the complexity of close relationships: between lovers, as in the poignant fantasy “A Parisian Affair” or the touchingly ironical “The Jewels”; between siblings, as in “At Sea”; and between former partners, as in “Encounter.” They reveal two sides of human nature: its grace and generosity and also, as in “Boule de Suif,” its greed and hypocrisy. Piquant and varied, Maupassant’s stories lay humanity bare with deft wit and devastating honesty.
- Siân Miles’s vibrant new translation is accompanied by an Introduction discussing Maupassant’s stpries as a reflection of the rapidly changing beliefs of his society
- “The Necklace”—Maupassant’s famous story not included in the previous Penguin Classics edition—appears in this volume
- Includes chronology, notes, and suggestions for further reading