Barbara Pym: Writing a Life

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Scarecrow Press, 1994 - Biography & Autobiography - 261 pages
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Barbara Pym (1913-1980) wrote more than a dozen novels that reflect the life and manners of mid-twentieth-century Britain. Pym's subtle wit and irony infuse the common round of English drawing room comedy with an energy that validates the seeming trivia of women's lives. Barbara Pym: Writing a Life is about Pym and her novels and about the critical response to her work. Part 1 introduces all of Pym's novels, as well as fragments collected posthumously, in the order in which they were written, relating some of the events in her life-including the public reception of her work-to her themes in the novels. Part 2 is a study of the ten novels that Pym herself prepared for publication. It focuses on some of the autobiographical elements in the novels that Pym herself prepared for publication. It focuses on some of the autobiographical elements in the novels that derive from Pym's concerns about romantic love, the Church, and literature, and discusses some of the techniques Pym used in transmuting these concerns into fiction. Part 3 is a bibliographic essay that summarizes the critical issues that have come to bear on her work. Part 4 is a comprehensive bibliography of primary and secondary sources. Barbara Pym: Writing a Life is designed to encourage the teaching of Pym's novels and to assist scholars in the critical study of the novels and of Pym's contribution to English literature.
 

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Contents

HER LIFE AND WORK
1
BARBARA PYM AND HER NOVELS
64
A BIBLIOGRAPHICAL ESSAY
132
A COMPREHENSIVE LISTING OF PRIMARY AND SECONDARY PUBLISHED MATERIALS
183

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About the author (1994)

Orphia Jane Allen (PhD, University of Oklahoma) is Associate Professor of English at New Mexico State University. Her publications include articles in Genre, Modern Fiction Studies, Latin American Literary Review, and the Doris Lessing Newsletter.