This book is a delight to read though perhaps somewhat harder to review since It defies easy classification. The work is epistolary in form, though the epistles in this case are digital since we are presented with a series of emails written by an advisor to her student. The student has an assignment on English writer Barbara Pym to complete and she is not entirely happy about it. She complains that 'nothing happens' in Pym's novels, a common charge brought against a wide range of authors by novice literature students. I have heard this complaint advanced against Jane Austen, M.R. James and a host of others in my own classroom experience, indeed against anyone who does not include the Hollywood triptych of 'bonk, car chase and gunfight' in their narratives.
In the course of explaining what does happen in Barbara Pym's novels her tutor, Mallory Cooper illuminates an entire era of British social history and references a wealth of literary sources and resources which cumulatively bring the author , her world and her novels vividly into focus. If Barbara Pym was not formerly on my 'to read' list then she is now.
Of course the book is much more than an explication of Barbara Pym. It attempts to answer the question:- "Why read literature?" and offers conclusions which are the fruits of Ms Solow's (soon to be Dr. Solow) many decades of literary study and experience as a practicing writer. All in all this is a book for anyone who cares about literature and wants to advance their knowledge of it. It provides , perhaps surprisingly for a work which is so very scholarly in tone and content, a thoroughly engaging and engrossing reading experience. An unreservedly recommended title from a masterful writer.
Buy 'Felicity And Barbara Pym' HERE
Read our interview with Harrison Solow HERE
Win A Signed Copy of 'Felicity And Barbara Pym'
Here at Americymru we like to give things away! This month we are offering an autographed copy of ''Felicity And Barbara Pym' . All you have to do is answer the three following questions and email your answers to :-
The deadline for entries is July 1st 2010 and the lucky winner will be announced on the site on July 2nd. Please remember that we will only accept one entry per email address and duplicate submissions will be disqualified. So........fire up the Wikipedia and answer these questions to win the prize:-
1. In which English town was Barbara Pym born?
2. In which international Institute in London did Pym work for several years?
3. Barbara Pym's first novel in 1950 was titled 'Some Tame ......." ( Fill in the blank )?
Pob lwc/Best of luck:) Comment on Harrison's AmeriCymru page HERE.
Jun 3, 2010
Felicity And Barbara Pym - Harrison Solow. Review & Competition
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