The Pier Glass and Other Stories (Illustrated)

Collected here are fourteen of Thyra Samter Winslow’s darker short stories. All but one of them originally appeared in The Smarter Set, but all of them deal with the darker side of life.

Thyra Samter Winslow might be forgotten for today’s audience but her stories make us wonder, what is so different now between her formative years, in the 1910s and 1920s that are so different from now?

Men and woman having affairs, running away from home, struggling with questions of work, sex, love and life.

The first story in this collection, Blueberry Pie, is a mystery, ending with the electric chair.

Love, sex, and everything in between.

These stories were mostly submitted to The Smart Set between 1917 and 1922, including her mystery story, Blueberry Pie, which was later published in a collection of the same name.

The stories in this collection deal with class, with prostitution, with chorus girls, murder and suicide.

The Pier Glass deals with consumerism while A Boy’s Best Friend tackles mommy issues. Hattie deals with a woman trying to leave prostitution while Cinderella’s 12-o-clock confronts class and the disparity between the rich and poor.

And murder! Courtesy of Blueberry Pie, which originally ran in Black Mask Magazine.

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The stories (and one poem) are:

  • A Boy’s Best Friend
  • The Pier Glass
  • Hattie
  • The End of Anna
  • The Husband Inspirer
  • You Can Get Away With A Lot
  • Cinderella’s 12-o-clock
  • The First Bloom
  • Saturday
  • In the Case of Lou Terry
  • I.O.U.
  • The Wicked Mr. Atwood
  • Blueberry Pie
  • Freedom
  • A Small Town

Thyra Samter Winslow’s first work: Window Panes (Picture Frames)

Thyra Samter Winslow published a bevy, over 50, works in Smart Set before 1922, the cut-off date for public domain works (although that is not always a hard-and-fast rule).

Many of her books of short stories were made up of stories that had been previously published.

Window Panes, later republished as Picture Frames, was Samter’s first book and it collected many of her short stories from The Smart Set.

According to, Picture Frames/Window Panes was composed of:

  • Little Emma (1915)
  • Grandma
  • Mamie Carpenter (1920)
  • A cycle of Manhattan (1919)
  • Amy’s story
  • City folks (1919)
  • Indian summer
  • A love affair
  • Birthday
  • Corinna and her man (1920)
  • The end of Anna (1917)

Window Panes was later republished as “Picture Frames.” is quite fond of Samter Winslow and devoted an entire article to Window Panes.

Picture Frames received an enthusiastic critical welcome when it was published. Edna Ferber, one of the most successful novelists of the time, led the applause: “These short stories are character studies, penetrating, keen, pitiless. No one in this country is doing this sort of thing as well as Thyra Winslow.” She did, however, regret Winslow’s lean style, referring to it as, “Hard, tough, common, little Anglo-Saxon words about hard, tough, common little American people.” Burton Rascoe, reviewing for the New York Tribune, called the stories “hard, metallic”–but also described Winslow’s work as “distinctly original, the method of presentation new, the point of view fresh, challenging and distinctive.”

Little Emma is in our collection of Samter Winslow’s work, The Wisest Girl in Town and Other Stories while The End of Anna is in our collection, The Pier Glass and Other Stories.



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