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Elephant's Nest in a Rhubarb Tree
Story Collection
Page Count
New Directions
Publication Year

New York: New Directions, 1989.

The third of three story collections published by New Directions after Bates's death. The New York Times says "a reader is immediately beguiled by his range of sympathy, his sensual exuberance, his expert plotting, his tenderness, his humor, his unfailing eloquence and his deep regard for the dignity, even the heroism, of those who often appear unlikely candidates for such praise." The Virginia Quarterly says "with an astonishing economy of words and plot, but with a rare sensitivity to a wide range of moods, Bates succeeds almost every time in revealing the inner thoughts and feelings of quite ordinary men, women, and children in very personal encounters."


  • New York Times (June 11, 1989, p. BR43, Brock Baker, attached)
  • Virginia Quarterly (Winter 1990, p. 7, attached)

Contains: Elephant's Nest in a Rhubarb Tree; The Captain; Italian Haircut; The Little Jeweller; Chateau Bougainvillaea; The Disinherited; The Greatest People in the World; The Major of Hussars; Thelma; Go, Lovely Rose; The Kimono; Love in a Wych Elm; Let's Play Soldiers; Great Uncle Crow; The Watercress Girl; Coconut Radio; The Trespasser.


The below reviews and articles are available in PDF format.