Edith Wharton short story “La Famille” now published


Edith Wharton Society members might be interested to read a previously unpublished short story Wharton wrote in French, entitled ‘La Famille’ which has been published with an English translation and introduction in Journal of the Short Story in English / Les Cahiers de la nouvelle (JSSE)
I came across the story in her papers at the Beinecke library archives. To date, Wharton’s only published French short stories have been “Les Metteurs en Scène,” which appeared in the Revue des Deux Mondes in October 1908 and her French version of Atrophy (1927) entitled “Atrophie” and also published in the Revue des Deux Mondes in July 1929.”La Famille” is the story of a young, independent American woman, Nina Alston, who is intending to marry into a titled French family. The choice to write in French is an apt one given the French setting and using this language allows Wharton to both playfully and subtly explore the clash between the respective cultures of the affianced couple. Wharton’s narrative mischievously sends up both the French family’s attitude towards tradition and form, and Nina’s newly-found American relatives’ love of all things modern combined with their misunderstandings of history. That is, if this rather odd group of people really are her family…
Sarah Whitehead
The story can be found at:https://journals.openedition.org/jsse/2904