The Hotel: A Novel

Front Cover
University of Chicago Press, Nov 7, 2012 - Fiction - 224 pages
3 Reviews
In his introduction to a collection of criticism on the Anglo-Irish author Elizabeth Bowen, Harold Bloom wrote, “What then has Bowen given us except nuance, bittersweet and intelligent? Much, much more.” Born in 1899, Bowen became part of the famous Bloomsbury scene, and her novels have a much-deserved place in the modernist canon. In recent years, however, her work has not been as widely read or written about, and as Bloom points out, her evocative and sometimes enigmatic prose requires careful parsing. Yet in addition to providing a fertile ground for criticism, Bowen’s novels are both wonderfully entertaining, with rich humor, deep insight, and a tragic sense of human relationships.

Bowen’s first novel, The Hotel, is a wonderful introduction to her disarming, perceptive style. Following a group of British tourists vacationing on the Italian Riviera during the 1920s, The Hotel explores the social and emotional relationships that develop among the well-heeled residents of the eponymous establishment. When the young Miss Sydney falls under the sway of an older woman, Mrs. Kerr, a sapphic affair simmers right below the surface of Bowen’s writing, creating a rich story that often relies as much on what is left unsaid as what is written on the page. Bowen depicts an intense interpersonal drama with wit and suspense, while playing with and pushing the English language to its boundaries.
 

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User Review  - sonofcarc - LibraryThing

Bowen's first novel. Not entirely satisfactory from a structural viewpoint, as it takes a while to focus on what turns out to be the main story, and then some characters who seemed important vanish ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - amy_marie26 - LibraryThing

Probably more of a 3.5 but I feel bad giving Elizabeth Bowen less than four stars because she is awesome and I think more people should read her. But seriously...what is happening here? I love ... Read full review

Contents

Foreword by Maud Ellmann
1
1 Quarrel
7
2 Sydney
13
3 Late for Lunch
19
4 Bathroom
26
5 Picnic
32
6 The Kiss
41
7 Out of Order
51
14 Music
103
15 Lucid
110
16 Villa
118
17 Pâtisserie
127
18 I Do Want To
135
19 TeaGarden
142
20 Mrs Kerr
150
21 Valley
157

8 In the DrawingRoom
58
9 My Little Boy
64
10 Mr Milton
72
11 The Dance
80
12 Any Hope?
89
13 Cemetery
96
22 Rather Afraid
164
23 Next Corner
174
24 Kindness
184
25 Going Away
193
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About the author (2012)

Elizabeth Bowen (1899–1973) is an Anglo-Irish novelist and short-story writer who spent most of her life in London, where she mixed with the intellectual circle of the Bloomsbury group. Her many books include The Death of the Heart, The Demon Lover and Other Stories, The Heat of the Day, and The Last September.

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