Maeve Brennan came to America from Ireland in 1934, when she was seventeen. From 1949 through the mid-1970s, she was on the staff of The New Yorker, where she made memorable contributions to "The Talk of the Town" under the pen name "The Long-Winded Lady." She also wrote short stories, some of the best the magazine ever published. Though much of her writing is set in and around Manhattan, her finest work is always set in Dublin, her imagination's home. The Springs of Affection collects all her Irish fiction, twenty-one stories in three story cycles. Some of these stories are autobiographical, and render without sentimentality the rawest emotions of girlhood; Brennan remembers exactly what it was to be five years old and caught in a lie, and to be thirteen and lied to. Others concern the bitter marriage of Rose and Hubert Derdon, and the moments of understanding that should bring these two together but instead drive them further apart. The most ambitious and lyrical stories explore the world of Delia Bagot, a woman whose house and children are the most of what she needs, and whose imagination and ambitions seldom take her far from her own front parlor. The sweep of Delia's life, as considered by the sister-in-law who despised her, is the subject of the title story, an almost novella-length masterpiece that, as William Maxwell writes in his introduction, "belongs with the great short stories of this century."