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Barbara Pym (1913–1980)

Autor(a) de Excellent Women

27+ Works 13,269 Membros 553 Reviews 148 Favorited
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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 de Barbara Pym

Associated Works

The Assassin's Cloak: An Anthology of the World's Greatest Diarists (2000) — Contribuinte, algumas edições550 cópias
The Penguin Book of Gay Short Stories (1994) — Contribuinte — 318 cópias
The Penguin Book of Women's Humour (1996) — Contribuinte — 118 cópias


Conhecimento Comum

Nome de batismo
Pym, Barbara Mary Crampton
Data de nascimento
Data de falecimento
Local de enterro
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
Pequena biografia
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.



British Author Challenge April 2024: Barbara Pym & Anthony Trollope em 75 Books Challenge for 2024 (Hoje 2:31pm)
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)


Reason read: BAC
This was the author’s third novel and was received with mixed reviews and the author was disappointed in it. It is the story of Jane, wife of a clergy, trying to matchmake for her friend Prudence. Prudence is a younger, single, independent young lady of London. The story takes place in a quiet little village. I would say that the story is not hard to read but it is probably a so so story that isn’t unlike other books.
Kristelh | outras 57 resenhas | Apr 10, 2024 |
I broke my rule of waiting a ‘decent’ time (a very Pymish term!) before reading the same author again, in this case I read Barbara Pym’s exceptional “Excellent Women” not long before Quartet. This may have been a factor, but also the bleakness of the lives that form the core of this novel, that made this much less enjoyable. There is scant nobility in this bleakness, and the characters, if anything, embrace it. The tale is in 70’s London, in the tiny universe of an office staffed by two men and two women. They are an odd bunch, boring empty people incapable of the tiniest impact on other people or the world. Or on even their office in fact- once they have all retired it will be shut down and nobody, including the Quartet, seems to know its purpose- it just is. They will all retire and continue to do nothing of interest beyond perhaps eating some tinned food, or getting crazy and going to a library, only to be disappointed by it except for perhaps taking offence at the librarian's hairstyle. The only character that elicited any sympathy was Lettie, but Lettie is far from an excellent woman, too timid and boring; she was a bright spark only in contrast to the other three. The writing is of course wonderful, warm and witty despite the cast of characters, and the evocation of 70’s Britain and post-colonial implosion very well done- but it’s not great fun.… (mais)
diveteamzissou | outras 53 resenhas | Apr 3, 2024 |
I've enjoyed Barbara Pym in the past. She kind of sneaks up on you with her brilliant, understated characterizations of ordinary people whose uneventful lives, when scrutinized her way, become fascinating, amusing, enlightening, and often absolutely hilarious. Some Tame Gazelle was her first novel, and she was already on her game with spinster sisters Harriet and Belinda Bede, who some indeterminate while ago "decided to spend their old age together", and who engage themselves with affairs of the parish. Harriet, who had a good university education, has long ago given up all intellectual pursuits to adopt a series of thin pale curates as they come and go, plying them with handknit items, cakes and boiled chicken suppers. Belinda, on the other hand, still takes pleasure in the greater and lesser English poets, and nurtures a long-standing love for the Archdeacon, who luckily for Belinda, married someone else 30 years ago. There seems to be nothing loveable left in the Archdeacon, who isn't at all happy in either his marriage or his calling, but Belinda loyally continues to look on him fondly and defend his rather shiftless performance of his clerical duties from her sister's sharp criticisms, while occasionally indulging in daydreams about how she might have been a more sympathetic helpmeet than his wife has turned out to be. There isn't anything demanding about reading Pym, but it would be a mistake to dismiss her novels as insignificant or "cosy" just because they're comfortable. It's sort of like spending an afternoon making cookies with a wise old aunt....you're richer for it.
Read and reviewed in 2013
… (mais)
laytonwoman3rd | outras 48 resenhas | Mar 28, 2024 |
Another deceptively ordinary story of women and their "little" lives. So engrossing, so amusing, sometimes so profound. In this novel Pym gives us the academic world of anthropologists home from their field work, or preparing to go back to it, or hoping to get a grant to begin it....and the family/staff/girlfriends around the edges who seem to have a very foggy notion of what it's all about. As in every other Pym I've read, there were one or two scenes that crept up on me and hit me in the funny bone, making me laugh out loud when I least expected it. Pym also has a trick of making me sympathize in the end with a character she seemed to be setting up as the villain of the piece earlier on. And it's all so subtle.
Read and reviewed in 2013
… (mais)
laytonwoman3rd | outras 29 resenhas | Mar 28, 2024 |



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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
Elif Uras Translator
Kaori Ashizu Translator
Djuke Houweling Translator
Debra McFarlane Illustrator
Orla Kiely Cover designer
Sabine Porte Translator
Jaime Zulaika Translator
A. N. Wilson Introduction
Geri Halligan Narrator
Jilly Cooper Introduction
Mavis Cheek Introduction
Lidia Zazo Translator
John Bayley Introduction
Paul Binding Introduction
Louis de Bernières Introduction
Nicoletta ROSATI Translator
Salley Vickers Introduction
Philip Larkin Foreword
Kate Saunders Introduction


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