A Very Pleasant Evening with Stevie Smith
Fiction by Stevie Smith
Stevie Smith is a magnificent wild card in the deck of this century’s great writers––beyond category and past calculation. As Annie Dillard has said, “She is a wonder.” A great poet and novelist (Novel on Yellow Paper), Stevie Smith also wrote delightful short prose. And here, in A Very Pleasant Evening with Stevie Smith, is the very best of it: eight stories and four essays mixing throw-away charm and deadly sophistication. Her stories delight and surprise: her essays defend favorite subjects, such as cats and the suburbs. “Life in the suburbs is richer at the lower levels. At these levels people are not self-conscious at all, they are at liberty to be as eccentric as they please, they do not know they are eccentric.” And Stevie herself, at liberty to be as eccentric as she pleased, is the antidote to every form of literary dullness.