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The Little Hotel

The Little Hotel

Text Classics

Christina Stead

Introduction by Lisa Gorton

After the Second World War, bizarre characters from across the ruined continent have gathered at the ‘fourth-rate’ Hotel Swiss-Touring by Lake Geneva. Some are residents, while other guests have come for the season. In the claustrophobic atmosphere of the little hotel, their eccentricities and their desperation—their jealousies and vindictiveness—are all too apparent.

First published in 1973, shortly before Christina Stead’s return to Australia, The Little Hotel is a sharp, witty satire of changing lives in postwar Europe.

Christina Stead was born in 1902 in Sydney. Stead’s first books, The Salzburg Tales and Seven Poor Men of Sydney, were published in 1934 to positive reviews in England and the United States. Her fourth work, The Man Who Loved Children, has been hailed as a ‘masterpiece’ by Jonathan Franzen, among others. In total, Stead wrote almost twenty novels and short-story collections. Stead returned to Australia in 1969 after forty years abroad for a fellowship at the Australian National University. She resettled permanently in Australia in 1974 and was the first recipient of the Patrick White Award that year. Christina Stead died in Sydney in 1983, aged eighty. She is widely considered to be one of the most influential Australian authors of the twentieth century.

‘One of Australia’s greatest novelists puts together…a crew as sad, funny and perverse as any ever gathered.’ Time

‘This neat little volume will appeal to readers who enjoyhistorical fiction with a good dose of satire. Classic fiction from anaward-winning Australian author.’ BookMooch

‘How to describe it? It’s like a meteorite from Krypton landed on Ozlit’s bindi-eye-riddled lawn, greenly glowing. Or perhaps a mosaic of imagined intimacies…Stead is a recording angel of the threadbare European middle class of the postwar years.’ Saturday Paper

‘In this highly confined setting, Stead creates a busy mini-Europe of petty and poignant crises, or perhaps a molehill of The Magic Mountain. This is an excellent place for the Stead novice to begin enjoying her artistry.’ Kirkus Reviews, starred review

Read Lisa Gorton’s introduction, published at the Sydney Review of Books.

Christina Stead
About the Author

Christina Stead was born in 1902 in Sydney’s south. After graduating from high school in 1917, she attended Sydney Teachers’ College on a scholarship. She subsequently took a series of teaching and secretarial positions before travelling to London, aged twenty-six.

There she met Wilhelm Blech (later William Blake), a married American writer and a...

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Extent:
240pp
Format:
Paperback
Text publication date:
3 October 2016
First published:
1973
ISBN:
9781925355734
AU Price:
$12.95
NZ Price:
$15.99
Australian
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Praise for Christina Stead
andThe Little Hotel

‘How to describe it? It’s like a meteorite from Krypton landed on Ozlit’s bindi-eye-riddled lawn, greenly glowing. Or perhaps a mosaic of imagined intimacies…Stead is a recording angel of the threadbare European middle class of the postwar years.’

‘In this highly confined setting, Stead creates a busy mini-Europe of petty and poignant crises, or perhaps a molehill of The Magic Mountain. This is an excellent place for the Stead novice to begin enjoying her artistry.’

Other editions ofThe Little Hotel
  • The Little Hotel
    ebook
    ISBN: 9781925410167
    3 October 2016
    Buy ebook