This selection of four tales by Conrad is about radical insecurity: lone human beings involuntarily forced into confrontation with a terrifying universe in which they can never be wholly at home. It leads with ‘The End of the Tether’ and includes also ‘The Duel’, ‘The Return’, and ‘Amy Foster’ - Sailor, Soldier, Rich Man, Immigrant. These powerful shorter works remind readers that Conrad is not just the teller of sea stories and tales of imperialist action, and not only the author of the ubiquitous ‘Heart of Darkness’. This is the Conrad who is master of the terror element - global crisis, individual test, and personal trauma - in modern literature.
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