Listen to this amazing short story – Katherine Mansfield – The Doll´s House

I am addicted to listening to podcasts whilst running and I downloaded this from the Guardian short stories.  It is Margaret Drabble reading Mansfield´s The Doll´s House.  It is a fantastic but heartbreaking story, I was nearly crying as I was running around.

A very brief summary is that the Burnell girls are given an absolutely beautiful doll´s house.  The girls show off about it in the playground at school and all the other girls are invited to see it except for the Lil and Our Else Kelvey who are seen to be socially inferior and even worse their father is rumoured to be in prison.  It deals with being an outsider and cruelty in the playground.

Drabble reads this story beautifully and the interview afterwards is excellent where she explains why she chose it.  She says;

“When one is older one can appreciate the economy of the narration, the symbolism of the doll’s house, the bloody horror of the leaking jam sandwiches, the subtle relationship of the two sisters and the snobbery of the adults, but it is the unbearable poignancy of that last line, “I seen the little lamp”, that continues to haunt. I still have dreams about being shunned in the playground or ignored at a party or finding no place at a dinner table.”

Listen to it now, it´s only about 15 minutes long and I guarantee you will be moved;



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3 responses to “Listen to this amazing short story – Katherine Mansfield – The Doll´s House

  1. ann wood

    What a great easy to listen to story.I think we all can identify with these outcast little girls.
    However,that last comment ‘I’ve seen the lamp’ leads me to think that inspite of the awfulness of their lives,they still possess a hope which is unquenchable.
    Thank you,Kerry,for featuring this

    • Yes, I think it is great. Your interpretation of the end depends on if you are an optimist or a pessimist I suppose. It´s either yes they have hope or like Drabble says there lives are so terrible that they are happy with so little.

  2. Pingback: How to get free short stories and are they any good? Alice Munro – Too much happiness | Rotten Books

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