Barbara Pym’s career was defined, in many senses, by rejection. Her first novel was turned down by every publisher she sent it to in 1935, and was only published fifteen years later.
Even then, her subsequent books received very modest praise and ever decreasing sales. Paula Byrne’s The Adventures of Miss Barbara Pym, brimming with Pym’s private diaries and intimate letters, gallops through her love affairs and lifelong relationships and shows how – with a little help from her most ardent fans and friends, including Philip Larkin – her work eventually resurfaced, finding new readers and bringing her resounding acclaim in the last years of her life.
Not So Bad, Really
When I first read Barbara Pym’s Excellent Women in 1979 it certainly provoked a strong response, but hardly the admiration the cover blurb demanded for ‘one of the finest examples of high comedy...Read more