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Emma Wolf’s Short Stories in
The Smart Set
Edited by Barbara Cantalupo
AMS Studies in Modern Literature, No. 27
“Barbara Cantalupo and AMS Press have done us a service in the recovery and publication of Emma Wolf’s work. While the Internet may make much lost fiction available again, who would know to look? Only republication in book form will bring Wolf and other forgotten writers to renewed attention.”
—Grace Farrell, Resources for American Literary Study
“Eschewing the glib topicality that permeates the Smart Set, [Wolf] pushes to disclose the fraught complexities modernity has delivered to those blessed with what feel like options. The democratization of leisure and opportunity has made their struggles more akin to contemporary ones, and Cantalupo’s insightful editing and contextualization of Wolf’s forgotten stories is a timely and illuminating gift for readers and scholars alike.”
—Edward S. Cutler, Legacy: A Journal of American Women Writers
“In a magical act of literary resurrection, Barbara Cantalupo has restored to life Emma Wolf's long-buried short stories in The Smart Set—the New Yorker of its time. Wolf contributed a distinctive voice—at once, western, Jewish, female and unabashed—to early twentieth century American literature. How wonderful to have these stories back in print!”
—Jonathan D. Sarna, and author of American Judaism: A History
“In this new collection of forgotten stories by Emma Wolf, Barbara Cantalupo has added a fascinating chapter to American literature at the turn of the century and has added immeasurably to our understanding of the New Woman charting her own territory beyond the barriers of the Gilded Age. Cantalupo’s incisive introduction carves out a unique place for Wolf in the literary world dominated by Wharton and James.”
—Ann Shapiro, editor of Jewish American Women Writers (1994)
Edited and with an introduction by Barbara Cantalupo, Emma Wolf’s Short Stories in “The Smart Set” gathers together, for the first time, the ten stories that Jewish-American author Emma Wolf (1865–1932) published in The Smart Set: A Magazine of Cleverness.
Wolf was already a well-published novelist by the time she began contributing to Smart Set in 1902. For the next nine years, even as the magazine underwent a series of significant editorial shifts, Wolf continued providing stories that satisfied her editors’ desire for cleverly turned stories, while also expressing her beliefs about the power of love and the importance of family. Not conforming to the commonly held paradigm that early twentieth-century Jewish-American women authors wrote about poverty, politics, and class struggle, Wolf’s writing, like James’s and Wharton’s, addresses the intimate concerns of the upper-middle class, as this collection reveals. Wolf’s characters, all products of the Gilded Age, engaged social complexities familiar to Smart Set readers: the impact of easier divorce, new roles for the “New Woman,” and the politics of big money.
Note on the Text
1. A Study in Suggestion
2. A Still Small Voice
3. The Courting of Drusilla West
4. The End of the Story
6. Farquhar’s Masterpiece
7. The Conflict
8. Louis d’Or
9. The Knot
10. The Father of Her Children
Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data
Wolf, Emma, 1865–1932.
Emma Wolf's short stories in The Smart set / edited by Barbara Cantalupo.
p. cm. — (AMS studies in modern literature, ISSN 0270-2983 ; no. 27)
Includes bibliographical references.
ISBN 978-0-404-61597-0 (cloth : alk. paper)
1. United States—Social life and customs—20th century—Fiction.
2. Upper class—United States—Fiction.
3. Short stories, Jewish.
I. Cantalupo, Barbara.
II. Smart set (New York, N.Y.)