Byrne concludes that Pym is one of ‘the great writers of the human heart’. AN Wilson disagrees.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about a novelist’s life is what they leave out of their novels. You’d never guess from reading Barbara Pym’s mild 1950s comedies – of which Excellent Women (1952) and A Glass of Blessings (1958) are the best – that she had experienced a robustly active sexual life since being a student at Oxford in the 1930s, still less that one of her favourite lovers was a Nazi stormtrooper. ...
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