Who else is a lover of H.E. Bates' work but hasn't read any for years?
If you're a fan you'll be pleased to hear that this year and next Bloomsbury are re-issuing the complete short story collections in ebook format with some of them to come out in paperback, too. I have the first of the set, Day's End and Other Stories, and I'm very much looking forward to reading it and becoming reacquainted with a writer I loved when I was in my twenties but haven't picked up since.
Often described as the British Chekhov for his mastery of the short form, Bates was also a bestselling novelist with books such as Love for Lydia, Fair Stood the Wind for France, and the Pop Larkin chronicles (beginning with The Darling Buds of May). His work was also adapted for the big screen, the most renowned film being The Purple Plain starring Gregory Peck.
His stories "often explore country life, the sadness, joy, humour and darkness in what may be seen as a simpler way of life. He writes intimate character studies against vivid rural landscapes and, in so doing, beautifully captures a spectrum of emotions from innocent childhood and early adolescence to wise and experienced old age."
If you'd like to sample the short stories you can do so at no cost by downloading Castle in the Air, a humorous piece which was lost and unknown to the Bates family until 2013, and for more information on Bates and his work, visit the H.E. Bates Companion, or sign up to the newsletter, link at the bottom of this page.