NOTICE: (Updated March 5, 2010)

Beginning December 19, 2009, Books 'N Border Collies will be posting but only intermittently while I pursue personal goals. I plan to share some reading I'm doing, but there will be no reviews. I will, however, be sharing my exploration of vegetarian cooking and the cookbooks and websites I use to educate myself. I hope you enjoy it!


Monday, March 24, 2008


by Katherine Mansfield

What is it about some short stories that they can put you in your place and make you feel like a complete heel without ever directly pointing a finger? "Miss Brill" is a three page vignette of a woman people-watching at a public band performance in a park. She goes there every week and enjoys the miniature "performances" unfolding around her, listening in on snippets of the lives of others, smiling and envisioning wonderful things for those she sees. We've all done that. And we've all passed our snarky little judgments on those we've deemed unworthy for no reason other than we didn't like the way they looked. But guess what? Life is not a private performance. The others we're watching are watching us, too. How many kind-hearted Miss Brill's would I have made cry if they could have heard my thoughtless remarks?

I closed the book on this gorgeous story feeling thoroughly chastised. Once again I am reminded of all the work I have ahead of me if I really want to be the kind of person I would admire.


Read the story for free on line! Click here.


Anonymous said...

I've never read any Katherine Mansfield (bad, considering she's kind of a national icon...) but that sounds worth a look. I shock myself with how quickly I judge people sometimes but it's so easy to do!

joanna said...

Sounds intruiging, even though I have never been a fan of the short story... I'll have a look!

Lezlie said...

Jennifer ~ I think I read "The Garden Party" a long time ago, but that was all. I really liked this one, though, and will most likely look for more by her. Hopefully they won't all make me feel like I've been told to go to bed without supper. :-)

Joanna ~ Me neither, but I'm trying to learn. That's why I joined the Short Story Challenge. I'm just beginning to develop an appreciation. And they're great for when you're really tired, but still want to read just a little before you go to sleep! :-)


jenclair said...

I love "Miss Brill" - maybe my favorite Katherine Mansfield story.

Lezlie said...

JenClair ~ Thanks for stopping by! I will definitely be reading more of hers in the future.