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The Darts of Cupid and Other Stories
EDITH TEMPLETON

The Darts of Cupid and Other Stories by Edith Templeton
3 reviews (2002) (320p)
National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction Finalist

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Book Description
In The Darts of Cupid, Edith Templeton, now eighty-five, gives us a sweeping and intimate exposé of her century, and of the lives of women caught in the historic and personal contingencies it engendered. The unforgettable title story was celebrated upon its original publication in The New Yorker for its explicit portrayal of the relationship between a young British woman and her American superior in a provincial war office during World War II—a love affair that lasted only two nights but changed the narrator's life forever, and is still haunting today, more than thirty years after the story was written. Other pieces take us from the tumbledown glamour of a Bohemian castle between the first and second world wars to an apartment on the coast of Italy in the 1990s, where a rich widow's decision to sell her husband's prized silver becomes a bewitching tale of menopausal longing.

In classic prose, Templeton delivers a lost world in all its heartbreaking detail—a continental way of life that matters more to us now that it has been all but erased by the turn of a troubled new century. Finally, this book is the record of a unique sensibility: whatever the period, Templeton addresses the truth about female passion with a forthright gaze that is entirely up to date.


Amazon.com Review
As a girl in 1920s Prague, Edith Templeton caused a scandal by writing a school essay about how well-heated her private academy was--during a coal strike. This turned out to be a predictive event: Templeton's fiction illuminates the political by way of the intensely personal. In the title story of the exquisite collection The Darts of Cupid, a young woman's love affair is shaped by the tragedies of World War II. (This particular piece is so personal that upon its 1968 publication in The New Yorker, it made history as the most explicit story ever published by that magazine.) Templeton's stories are filled with acid-tongued girls, cynical older men, and frighteningly acute observations, such as "malice is the luxury of underlings." Bitterly funny and steeped in modern history, The Darts of Cupid places Templeton squarely in the company of Maeve Brennan and Sybille Bedford. These recently rediscovered midcentury women writers made unflinching fiction. --Claire Dederer


Edith Templeton Award Stats
Major Prize* Nominations 1  
Unique Books Nominated for a Major Prize* 1  
Pulitzer Prize Wins 0  
Pulitzer Prize Nominations 0  
National Book Critics Circle Award Wins 0  
National Book Critics Circle Award Nominations 1 The Darts of Cupid and Other Stories ·  
National Book Award Wins 0  
National Book Award Nominations 0  
Man Booker Prize Wins 0  
Man Booker Prize Nominations 0  
PEN/Faulkner Award Wins 0  
PEN/Faulkner Award Nominations 0  

*Major Prize = Pulitzer Prize, National Book Critics Circle Award, National Book Award, Man Booker Prize, and PEN/Faulkner Award

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