Rites of Compassion

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  • Format: Paperback
  • Copyright: 2007-10-01
  • Publisher: Feminist Pr
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Personally selected by award-winning writer Mary Gordon, these two stories by Willa Cather and Gustave Flaubert render subtle portraits of characters whose sacrifices achieve nobility as they willingly serve people who take them for granted. Set in a house Cather modeled on her own childhood home, "Old Mrs. Harris" depicts the staunch matriarch of a busy household; her tale and her life revolve around her ineffectual son-in-law, her displaced southern debutante daughter, and a bevy of grandchildren whose dreams seem out of reach. In "A Simple Heart," written by Flaubert at the request of George Sand, Felicite is a faithful servant first to a family fallen on hard times and then, shockingly, to a stuffed parrot she confuses with the Holy Spirit. Cruel and honest, these two stories explore the ways in which families treat their aging members, the harsh impatience of the young, and the patient compassion of women who make their family's everyday lives possible.

Table of Contents

Introductionp. 1
Old Mrs. Harrisp. 25
A Simple Heartp. 105
Table of Contents provided by Blackwell. All Rights Reserved.

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