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A Few Days in the Country

A Few Days in the Country: And Other Stories

Elizabeth Harrower

  • awardJoint winner, University of Southern Queensland Australian Short Story Collection – Steele Rudd Award, 2016
  • awardShortlisted, The Stella Prize, 2016
  • awardShortlisted, Kibble Literary Award, 2016
  • awardShortlisted, Western Australian Premier's Book Award for Fiction, 2016
  • awardLonglisted, Colin Roderick Award, 2016
  • Internationally acclaimed for her five brilliant novels, Elizabeth Harrower is also the author of a small body of short fiction. A Few Days in the Country brings together for the first time her stories published in Australian journals in the 1960s and 1970s, along with those from her archives—including ‘Alice’, published for the first time in 2015 in the New Yorker.

    Essential reading for Harrower fans, these finely turned pieces show a broader range than the novels, ranging from caustic satires to gentler explorations of friendship.


    The Fun of the Fair
    Alice, published in the New Yorker
    The City at Night, published in the Guardian
    Summertime, published at Lithub
    The North Sea
    The Cornucopia, published in Harper’s Magazine
    The Beautiful Climate
    Lance Harper, His Story
    The Cost of Things
    English Lesson
    It Is Margaret
    A Few Days in the Country


    Read a feature by senior editor David Winter on the Text blog
    New Yorker 
    ABC RN Books & Arts


    Sydney Morning Herald

    Elizabeth Harrower
    About the Author

    Elizabeth Harrower is the author of the novels Down in the City, The Long Prospect, The Catherine Wheel and The Watch Tower—all of which have been republished as Text Classics—and In Certain Circles, which was published in 2014 and shortlisted for the Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Fiction in 2015. She died in July 2020.

    Read Moreright
    Text publication date:
    1 March 2016
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    Praise for Elizabeth Harrower
    andA Few Days in the Country

    ‘Lyrical, insightful and finely tuned.’

    ‘Enchanting…That Harrower has, up until recently, been denied a place in the Australian literary canon, is a tragedy—one that can only be remedied by reading her. A Few Days in the Country: And Other Stories is a fantastic place to start.’

    ‘One has to think hard of a book in which so much pleasure has been wrenched from so much pain. While the skies are overcast here, what happens on the ground is brightly lit, hilariously cast by lashings of irony and overstatement…This is the work of an activist in disguise as an entertainer.’

    ‘[A Few Days in the Country creates] taut portraits and compact examinations of power, vulnerability and hope…Harrower’s best stories slip as surely into your bones as her novels.’

    ‘The range of stories and styles demonstrates Harrower’s extraordinary literary skill…A Few Days in the Country and Other Stories offers no sure-fire formulas, but through its interrogation of characters’ psychological motivations it affords a deeper understanding of human behaviour.’

    ‘[Harrower] reveals an astonishing facility to reveal a world in a few brush strokes.’

    ‘Harrower has the disconcerting knack of looking at life and seeing it unadorned.’

    ‘Vital, vivid stories by a master storyteller.’

    ‘Wide-ranging in mood and style, this is a virtuoso but warm-hearted display of the genre.’

    ‘These are wise and serious stories about deep feelings. Harrower is one of those writers you can’t believe you’ve missed – but what a joy to discover her.’

    Other editions ofA Few Days in the Country
    • A Few Days in the Country
      ISBN: 9781922253330
      21 October 2015
      Buy ebook