A one volume presentation of Elizabeth Bowen's first short stories, two collections which were written in her early twenties, published under the titles Encounters and Ann Fee. Casting a clinical eye on her early work in the preface here, Miss Bowen scores the harshness of her more youthful judgments, the ""precocity and naivety"", the characters and situations which were not derived from a real world but only guessed at. Fragmentary, sometimes unresolved, these early stories- or sketches -- are to reveal the quality of her later work- the impressionable susceptibility- the rare responsiveness to places, objects- the delicate touching off of an experience. There is a young girl's ambivalence toward her mother; an oppressively encompassing older woman; a young wife's obsession with her predecessor; a boy's flagellating fantasy of his mother's death; a breakfast in an English rooming house; some scenes in Italy; etc. etc. And for her definite, dedicated following, here is again the evidence of a style which is reticent in approach, fragile in texture.