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Questionable Shapes

William Dean Howells

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Book Excerpt: 
. . ., and show out my real thoughts and feelings, how is it any worse than if I acted somebody else!"

"I should think it was very much better," said Hewson, inwardly warned to keep his face straight.


They had time for no more talk between the drawing-room and the dinner table, and when Miss Hernshaw's chair had been pushed in behind her, and she sat down, she turned instantly to the man on her right and began speaking to him, and left Hewson to make conversation with any one he liked or could.

He did not get on very well, not because there were not enough amusing people beside him and over against him, but because he was all the time trying to eavesdrop what was saying between Miss Hernshaw and the man on her right. It seemed to be absolute trivialities they were talking; so far as Hewson made out they got no deeper than the new play which was then commanding the public favor apparently for the reason that it was altogethe. . . Read More

Community Reviews

I had never heard of William Dean Howells until a few months ago when I read an article mentioning this book. I wrote the title down, set it aside, and just re-discovered it.

I'm very glad I did. Howells is a marvelous writer.

These stories are a weird mixture of realism and speculative fiction -- p