Amy Foster

Amy Foster

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Amy Foster by Joseph Conrad

Published:

1901

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Amy Foster

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The story of a dull-witted but compassionate English girl who falls in love with a strange man from Eastern Europe. This ignorant, wild, and romantic peasant from the Carpathian Mountains has been cast up by the sea, the only survivor from an emigrant ship bound for America. Unable to speak a word of English and totally mystified as to where he is--it might have been America or Hell, itself--he leads a wretched and hunted existence till the chance kindness of Amy Foster opens his eyes.

Book Excerpt

h a sharp nose, made her put on a black dress every afternoon. I don't know what induced me to notice her at all. There are faces that call your attention by a cu- rious want of definiteness in their whole aspect, as, walking in a mist, you peer attentively at a vague shape which, after all, may be nothing more cu- rious or strange than a signpost. The only pecu- liarity I perceived in her was a slight hesitation in her utterance, a sort of preliminary stammer which passes away with the first word. When sharply spoken to, she was apt to lose her head at once; but her heart was of the kindest. She had never been heard to express a dislike for a single human being, and she was tender to every living creature. She was devoted to Mrs. Smith, to Mr. Smith, to their dogs, cats, canaries; and as to Mrs. Smith's grey parrot, its peculiarities exercised upon her a posi- tive fascination. Nevertheless, when that outland- ish bird, attacked by the cat, shrieked for help in human accents, she ran out into the yard

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