"Sian Miles's translation is accompanied by an introduction discussing Maupassant's stories as a reflection of the rapidly changing values and beliefs of his society. This new selection also contains a chronology, notes and suggestions for further reading."--BOOK JACKET. "Set in the nouveau riche Paris of society women, prostitutes and playboys, in the Normandy countryside and on the French Riviera where Maupassant lived, the thirty-three contes in this new selection are among the most darkly humorous and brilliant short stories in French literature. They focus on the complexity of close relationships between lovers, as in the poignant fantasy 'A Parisian Affair' or the touchingly ironical 'The Jewels'; between siblings, as in 'At Sea'; and between former partners, as in 'Encounter'. They reveal two sides of human nature: its grace and generosity and also, as in 'Boule de Suif', its greed and hypocrisy. Piquant and varied, Maupassant's stories lay humanity bare with deft wit and devastating honesty.".