The Way It Came is a short story published in 1896 in London by Henry James. The unnamed female narrator recounts her obsession with the mystical coincidence of two friends who seem destined to meet and who apparently do unite in spirit after death.
Best known under the title ”The Friends Of The Friends” and chosen under that title for his classic fantasy anthology ”Black Water” by Alberto Manguel as one of the best ghost stories ever written, this ”ghost” story (that is, if it is ”a ghost story”) is a profound psychological observation of a love transcending death - also a detailed exploration of the mind of the woman who would rather have her love right here in life.
Echoing ”The Turn Of The Screw” in its treatment of the supernatural as psychological, it turns the tables by making the supernatural consummately ”real” - at least in the mind of one who loves.
Calling the story's original title ”colourless”, James renamed it ”The Friends of the Friends” in 1909, revising it for inclusion in the New York Edition.
Henry James, OM (Order of Merit) (1843-1916) was an American-born writer, regarded as one of the key figures of 19th-century literary realism.
He is best known for a number of novels showing Americans encountering Europe and Europeans. His method of writing from a character's point of view allowed him to explore issues related to consciousness and perception, and his style in later works has been compared to impressionist painting. His imaginative use of point of view, interior monologue and unreliable narrators brought a new depth to narrative fiction.
Henry James was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1911, 1912, and 1916.