Guy de Maupassant is one of the few writers whose short stories?witty, economical, elegant, yet straightforward in style?are so forceful that his literary reputation can rest on them alone. Beneath their deceptively simple surfaces lies a deep understanding of the complexities of the human psyche. Maupassant explores the full panoply of late-nineteenth-century French society, from prostitutes in Parisian brothels and peasants in rural cottages, to adulterous aristocrats at expensive spas and patrician parties.
This collection begins with ?Ball-of-Fat,” the first story Maupassant published under his own name. Called a masterpiece by his friend and mentor Gustave Flaubert, it instantly raised the young author to celebrity status and created a clamor for more of his work. He responded with over three hundred stories (and six novels) written in a dozen years. Among others included here are the favorites ?The Necklace,” ?The Horla,” ?The False Gems,” and ?Useless Beauty.”
Richard Fusco received his Ph.D. from Duke University and is Associate Professor of English at Saint Joseph’s University in Philadelphia. A specialist in nineteenth-century American literature and in short-story narrative theory, his published criticism includes Maupassant and the American Short Story: The Influence of Form at the Turn of the Century and Fin de millenaire: Poe’s Legacy for the Detective Story.