Author(s): Christina Stead
A group of visitors to the Salzburg Festival, brought together by chance, decides to mark time by telling tales. Their fantasies, legends, tragedies, jokes and parodies come together as The Salzburg Tales. Dazzling in their richness and vitality, the tales are grounded in Christina Stead's belief that 'the story is magical...what is best about the short story (is) it is real life for everyone; and everyone can tell one'. Originally published eighty years ago, these are thoroughly modern stories that invite comparison with Boccaccio's Decameron and Chaucer's The Canterbury Tales. The Salzburg Tales are published here with a new introduction by Margaret Harris, Challis Professor of English Literature Emerita at the University of Sydney, and literary executor for Christina Stead.
Christina Stead was born in Sydney in 1902, and died there in 1983. Most of her life was spent elsewhere: in London, Paris and other places in Europe, and in the United States. The Salzburg Tales, her first book, was published in 1934, followed by twelve more works of fiction. She was the recipient of the inaugural Patrick White Literary Prize.