Two delightful tales by one of America’s favorite storytellers.
In “Elsie in New York,” Elsie is an innocent young woman who, upon the death of her father, must look for work to make a living. Her father expected her to trust to the goodheartedness of his previous employer, but Elsie prefers to make her own way in life. Although she visits an employment agency and applies for several positions, do-gooders interfere. Thinking they are saving her soul, in actuality they point her to her destruction.
In “The Purple Dress,” two young women clerks have been saving money all year to buy new dresses for the one gala of their year, the annual Thanksgiving dinner given by their employer. Both are hoping to catch the eye of one attractive gentleman bachelor at the party. But interactions with a landlady and a dressmaker intervene, and things turn out much differently than either girl could have imagined.
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“The real charm of O. Henry’s tales lies not in his reversal of the narrative, but in the reversal of his characters’ character. In O. Henry’s world, establishment figures become boobs and rich men become dunces, while rogues become heroes and down-and-outers become gentlemen.”
About O. Henry
O. Henry (1862–1910), born William Sydney Porter in Greensboro, North Carolina, was a short-story writer whose tales romanticized the commonplace, in particular, the lives of ordinary people in New York City. His stories often had surprise endings, a device that became identified with his name. He began writing sketches around 1887, and his stories of adventure in the Southwest United States and in Central America were immediately popular with magazine readers.
About the Narrators
Susan McCarthy is the narrator of numerous audiobooks, including such classics as Jane Austen’s Lady Susan and Sherwood Andersen’s Winesburg, Ohio. Her love for reading began as a young girl, when she discovered the Nancy Drew mystery series and was immediately hooked. Also a voice-over artist, she received her training at VoiceTrax San Francisco.
David Thorn spent his childhood in the Channel Islands off the coast of France, was schooled in England, and then immigrated to the United States at the age of twenty-three. He is retired from international commerce and currently resides in California.
Bobbie Frohman, a third generation Californian, was raised in a large extended family, the niece of cowboys. Early on she developed a deep love of animals, training her dogs to perform with her at dog shows, and as a competitive barrel racer with her beloved horse, Lucky.