With the exception of the first four stories, all were written within a period of ten years. These stories, and the letters following, reflect the urgency of a writer who knew her time was limited. All but four of the texts of the stories reprinted here are versions that Mansfield herself revised or selected.
Twenty excerpts from Mansfield's correspondence address the craft of writing and her own views on her work, subjects rarely broached in her many letters.
"Criticism" includes eighteen essays that collectively suggest the changing emphases in how Mansfield has been read by critics. Contributors include fellow writers Rebecca West, T. S. Eliot, Katherine Anne Porter, V. S. Pritchett, Elizabeth Bowen, and Frank O' Connor, as well as biographers Claire Tomalin and Vincent O'Sullivan, among others.
A Selected Bibliography is also included.