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The Boarding House

by James Joyce

Mrs. Mooney runs a boarding house for working men, and her daughter Polly entertains the men by singing and flirting. When Mrs. Mooney discovers that Polly is having an affair with one of the men, Mr. Doran,...


Ivy Day in the Committee Room

by James Joyce

As a few minor politicians discuss child-rearing and bicker about defending a rival candidate, one, Joe Hynes, reminds them it is Ivy Day, in memory of Charles Stewart Parnell. A silence falls on the room briefly,...


Grace

by James Joyce

Tom Kernan has fallen and injured himself in a pub after a large amount of drinking, which is not unusual for him. His friend, Mr. Power, finds him and helps him home to his wife. Once home, he is bedridden...


Eveline

by James Joyce

Eveline sits in her room thinking about the people she has lost—her mother and her brother. Her other brother is traveling for work and she is afraid that her alcoholic father will beat her with no one else...


Counterparts

by James Joyce

Farrington is an alcoholic scrivener who has been scolded by his boss for not finishing a task on time. But instead of completing the task, Farrington goes out for a beer and receives yet another scolding from...


Clay

by James Joyce

Maria, a laundress, is an older, unmarried woman with plans to attend her former foster child’s Halloween celebration. On her way to the party, Maria is reminded of her “old maid” status, and during one...


An Encounter

by James Joyce

Bored of the lack of adventure at school, two boys decide to cut class and head for the shore. They encounter many people and social events along the way, until they finally meet an older man who gives them...


After the Race

by James Joyce

Jimmy Doyle, a college student, is well-connected and has many wealthy friends. He enjoys the glamorous company, and his parents are proud. At dinner one evening, Jimmy and his friend entertain an English nobleman...


A Painful Case

by James Joyce

Mr. Duffy is a bank cashier and recluse living in Dublin, who purposely avoids contact with other people—until he meets Mrs. Sinico at a concert. While Mr. Sinico believes their relationship to be purely platonic,...


A Mother

by James Joyce

During the Irish Revival Mrs. Kearney decides to earn her family a higher social position by means of her daughter and obtains for her a contract to play a series of piano concerts. When the concerts are not...


A Little Cloud

by James Joyce

Little Chandler spends dinner with his friend Ignatius Gallaher reflecting on his own failed dreams as compared to Ignatius’s successes with London Press. Once home, Little Chandler begins to compare his wife...


The Young Girl

by Katherine Mansfield

In this short story by Katherine Mansfield, an unidentified narrator is left in charge of Mrs. Raddick’s children while their mother keeps her friend, Mrs. MacEwen, company at the casino. At twelve, Hennie...


Bank Holiday

by Katherine Mansfield

The streets are bustling with people—musicians, children, psychics, and salesmen—because a bank holiday means that everyone is out of the house, enjoying the day. In “Bank Holiday” author Katherine Mansfield...


Her First Ball

by Katherine Mansfield

Leila was born and raised in the country, and so when she visits her cousins in town and is invited to a ball for the first time, she is overwhelmed by the exciting and daunting new experience. Taking in every...


Miss Brill

by Katherine Mansfield

It is Sunday and Miss Brill is sitting on her special bench in the public gardens. She likes to watch the crowd and listen to their conversations, especially now that the Season has started and the band in its...


The Voyage

by Katherine Mansfield

Fenella Crane struggles to keep up with her father and grandmother as they stride toward the Picton boat. Her neatly-rolled luggage is strapped to her back and she clutches her grandmother’s umbrella closely...


Marriage a la Mode

by Katherine Mansfield

William’s heart aches. The pleasure he finds in his work is only a temporary distraction from the pain of being separated from his family, especially his wife. Every Saturday he takes the train down to the...


Life of Ma Parker

by Katherine Mansfield

Mrs. Parker has had a hard life, even the neighbours say so. As a girl in Stratford-on-Avon, she had never heard of Shakespeare. In her first position in London, she wasn’t allowed out of the cellar except...


Mr. and Mrs. Dove

by Katherine Mansfield

Before Reggie returns to his fruit farm in Rhodesia, he must propose to the woman he loves. At Colonel Proctor’s, Anne greets him at the door and, during a lull in their conversation, suggests Reggie say goodbye...


The Daughters of the Late Colonel

by Katherine Mansfield

It was all that Constantia and Josephine—the daughters of the late Colonel Pinner—could do to bury their father. Neither of them believed he wouldn’t be back to thump his stick on the floor and criticize...