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Barbara Pym (1913–1980)

Autor(a) de Excellent Women

30+ Works 13,053 Membros 541 Críticas 148 Favorited

About the Author

Novelist Barbara Pym was born in Shropshire and educated at Oxford University. An editor of Africa, an anthropological review, for many years, she published her first novel, Some Tame Gazelle, in 1950. Since then, a number of popular works have been published. Often compared with the works of Jane mostrar mais Austen in both manner and subject, Pym's novels are apparently guileless evocations of the foibles of aging and isolated characters. She has a sure, if understated, sense of her characters' psychology and of their unintentionally comic revelations about themselves and their futile lives. After the publication of No Fond Return of Love (1961), all her books were out of print until she was cited, coincidentally by both David Cecil and Philip Larkin, as among the most underestimated novelists of the 20th century. She subsequently completed two successful novels, The Sweet Dove Died (1978) and Quartet in Autumn (1978), the latter a comic-pathetic study of two men and two women in their sixties who work in the same office but lead separate, lonely lives outside. Many of her earlier books have since been reprinted, including Excellent Women (1952) and A Glass of Blessings (1958), both perceptive psychological studies of aging women taken advantage of by others. A posthumous novel, A Few Green Leaves (1980), is a superb comedy of provincial village life. (Bowker Author Biography) mostrar menos

Obras por Barbara Pym

Excellent Women (1952) 2,673 exemplares
Quartet in Autumn (1977) 1,247 exemplares
Jane and Prudence (1953) 1,155 exemplares
Some Tame Gazelle (1950) 1,055 exemplares
A Glass of Blessings (1958) 913 exemplares
No Fond Return of Love (1961) 861 exemplares
Crampton Hodnet (1985) 845 exemplares
Less Than Angels (1955) 829 exemplares
The Sweet Dove Died (1978) 702 exemplares
An Unsuitable Attachment (1982) 685 exemplares
A Few Green Leaves (1980) 650 exemplares
An Academic Question (1986) 491 exemplares
Civil to Strangers (1987) 416 exemplares

Associated Works

The Assassin's Cloak: An Anthology of the World's Greatest Diarists (2000) — Contribuidor, algumas edições544 exemplares
The Penguin Book of Gay Short Stories (1994) — Contribuidor — 308 exemplares
The Penguin Book of Women's Humour (1996) — Contribuidor — 114 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum

Nome legal
Pym, Barbara Mary Crampton
Data de nascimento
Data de falecimento
Localização do túmulo
Finstock churchyard, Finstock, Oxfordshire, England
Local de nascimento
Oswestry, Shropshire, England, UK
Local de falecimento
Finstock, Oxfordshire, England, UK
Locais de residência
Oswestry, Shropshire, England, UK
Finstock, Oxfordshire, England, UK
Huyton College, Liverpool, UK
Oxford University (St. Hilda's College)
editorial secretary (International African Institute, London)
Amery, Julian (lover)
Pym, Hilary (sister)
Women's Royal Naval Service (WWII)
Laura Morris (Laura Morris Literary Agency) - estate

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Barbara Mary Crampton Pym was born to Frederic and Irena Pym on June 2, 1913, in the town of Oswestry, Shropshire. S In 1931, Barbara entered St. Hilda's College at Oxford. In 1940, Barbara joined the Wrens (Women's Royal Naval Service), and in 1944, she was posted to Naples until the end of the war. After the war, Barbara took a job at the International African Institute in London, and soon became the assistant editor for the journal Africa. In 1971 she was diagnosed with breast cancer and underwent a mastectomy; in 1974 she suffered a minor stroke. She then retired from the Institute and went to live with her sister Hilary. She died at the Michael Sobell House, a hospice in Oxford, on January 11, 1980. She is buried in the churchyard at Finstock.



Barbara Pym Centenary - General discussion. em Virago Modern Classics (Dezembro 2013)
Barbara Pym centenary: Civil to Strangers em Virago Modern Classics (Dezembro 2013)
Barbara Pym centenary - An Academic Question em Virago Modern Classics (Novembro 2013)
Barbara Pym centenary - An Unsuitable Attachment em Virago Modern Classics (Novembro 2013)
Barbara Pym Centenary: Some Tame Gazelle em Virago Modern Classics (Outubro 2013)
Barbara Pym centenary: Crampton Hodnet em Virago Modern Classics (Outubro 2013)
Barbara Pym Centenary: A Few Green Leaves em Virago Modern Classics (Agosto 2013)
Barbara Pym centenary: The Sweet Dove Died em Virago Modern Classics (Agosto 2013)
Barbara Pym centenary: A Glass of Blessings em Virago Modern Classics (Julho 2013)
Barbara Pym Centenary: Less than Angels em Virago Modern Classics (Maio 2013)
Barbara Pym centenary: Jane and Prudence em Virago Modern Classics (Março 2013)
Barbara Pym Centenary: Excellent Women em Virago Modern Classics (Março 2013)
July: Reading Barbara Pym em Monthly Author Reads (Julho 2010)
Jane and Prudence (with spoliers) em Barbara Pym (Outubro 2009)


This was the first novel I'd read by Pym and I struggled with the first half of the book. It wasn't the focus on everyday occurrences or even the mundane that bugged me, but instead the snobby attitudes of many of the upper-middle class characters. I just didn't find them likable. The last six chapters in the book were its saving grace, as Pym tries to pull things together, interweaving moments of comic relief. I'm willing to try another Pym novel though.
Ann_R | 37 outras críticas | Nov 26, 2023 |
A dash of Wharton's prose, a flourish of Austen's wit, and a bit of spice from Gaskell's CRANFORD, this novel portrays the daily life of a well-to-do married woman living in 1950s London. Subtleness is key here as a complicated plot does not exist; mostly it reads like a well-developed diary of the life of Wilmet Forsyth trying to put meaning into her life. Pym also showcases a muted wit that satirizes the religion and society of the day. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
crabbyabbe | 37 outras críticas | Nov 21, 2023 |
This isn't my favourite of Pym's novels but I do find her views of village society so apt and often hilarious I still enjoyed every minute of reading it.
In this case, the main character, Emma, is a social anthropologist studying the village she resides in, surrounded by well-meaning ex-subjects of the manor house. Emma's mother is a professor of English literature (thus her name) and pops in every once and awhile to gesture with romance options at her daughter, who seems largely uninterested. Odd men wander through the text, all of them with some sort of unusual focus, whether food or antiquities or the need for a good walk (provided, if you are a woman, the doctor says it's okay). They're the sort of exasperating men seen often in novels but everyone puts up with their absurdities, just as they put up with the women polishing the church who never attend services. Everyone has a dream, most of them unrealized.
What I love best about Pym's books is that they are filled with women doing what is expected of them (often involving casseroles) while having internal caustic conversations with themselves about why they are even bothering. This is what goes on in my head all the time and thus I am very comfortable here. I also like the fact that people in her books still believe in duty to ones neighbours, no matter how onerous. A Poverty dinner is the scene for much hilarity, as all those invited whine gently for better bread and cheese while contributing a tiny amount to the cause. It's all so lovely and familiar and it even made me want to go back to church, simply for the framework of life that it provides. The efforts to make the world better, even in a smallish way. Heartwarming. While the gossips hang about, viperish, they still contribute a loaf or some sweets, endless cups of tea...
In these times of Sturm und drang, it's nice to leave a novel with a smile on one's face and a feeling of hope.
… (mais)
Dabble58 | 27 outras críticas | Nov 11, 2023 |
Absolutely hilarious, though you may already have to be a Pym fan to get into the jokes right away. I am, so within seconds of opening he book, I was giggling helplessly at the way she so masterfully presents (in an ever so slightly bitchy tone) the foibles of we kind and normal folk as we go about our day.
Life is everyday in Pym's stories, but everyday is immensely funny, when looked at through her magnifying glass.
Loved this book best of all I've read.
Dabble58 | 38 outras críticas | Nov 11, 2023 |



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Associated Authors

Hazel Holt Editor, Foreword
Hilary Pym Editor
Jackie Schuman Cover designer
Jessie Ford Cover artist
Dora Winkler Translator
Katarzyna Klein Cover artist
Bernard Turle Translator
A. N. Wilson Introduction
Elif Uras Translator
Sabine Porte Translator
Debra McFarlane Illustrator
Orla Kiely Cover designer
Djuke Houweling Translator
Geri Halligan Narrator
Kaori Ashizu Translator
Jaime Zulaika Translator
Jilly Cooper Introduction
Mavis Cheek Introduction
Lidia Zazo Translator
John Bayley Introduction
Paul Binding Introduction
Louis de Bernieres Introduction
Nicoletta ROSATI Translator
Salley Vickers Introduction
Philip Larkin Foreword
Kate Saunders Introduction


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