Barbara Pym - Excellent Women - Little, Brown Book Group

Excellent Women

By Barbara Pym

  • Hardback
  • £12.99

Probably Pym's most famous novel
'I'd sooner read a new Barbara Pym than a new Jane Austen' Philip Larkin

Cover design by Orla Kiely

Mildred Lathbury is one of those 'excellent women' who is often taken for granted. She is a godsend, 'capable of dealing with most of the stock situations of life - birth, marriage, death, the successful jumble sales, the garden fete spoilt by bad weather'. As such, though, she often gets herself embroiled in other people's lives - and especially those of her glamorous new neighbours, the Napiers, whose marriage seems to be on the rocks. One cannot take sides in these matters, though it is tricky, especially when Mildred, teetering on the edge of spinsterhood, has a soft spot for dashing young Rockingham Napier. This is Barbara Pym's world at its funniest and most touching.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781844085262
  • Publication date: 03 Jul 2008
  • Page count: 304
  • Imprint: Virago
One of the finest examples of high comedy — Lord David Cecil
I don't think I've ever before recommended a novel as one that everybody will enjoy and yet - even with a certain assurance - I'm prepared to vouch for EXCELLENT WOMEN — Marghanita Laski, OBSERVER
I pick up her books with joy, as though I were meeting an old, dear friend who comforts me, extends my vision and makes me roar with laughter — Jilly Cooper
Hachette Audio

Less Than Angels

Barbara Pym
Authors:
Barbara Pym
Virago

Crampton Hodnet

Barbara Pym
Authors:
Barbara Pym
Virago

An Academic Question

Barbara Pym
Authors:
Barbara Pym

A delightful comedy of manners with a touch of mystery, An Academic Question is prime Barbara Pym territory. In a provincial university town Caro Grimstone, a dissatisfied faculty wife, becomes the unwilling accomplice to her husband Alan's ambitions. When she volunteers as a reader to a blind, esteemed anthropologist, Alan seizes the opportunity to steal his papers - research that could both advance his reputation while refuting the findings of a respected colleague.

Hachette Audio

A Glass Of Blessings

Barbara Pym
Authors:
Barbara Pym

Wilmet Forsyth is well dressed, well looked after, suitably husbanded, good looking and fairly young - but very bored. Her husband Rodney, a handsome army major, is slightly balder and fatter than he once was. Wilmet would like to think she has changed rather less.Her interest wanders to the nearby Anglo-catholic church, where at last she can neglect her comfortable household in the more serious-minded company of three unmarried priests, and, of course, Piers Longridge, a man of an unfathomably different character altogether.

Hachette Audio

Some Tame Gazelle

Barbara Pym
Authors:
Barbara Pym

It was odd that Harriet should always have been so fond of curates. They were so immature and always made the same kind of conversation. Now the Archdeacon was altogether different . . . 'Together yet alone, the Misses Bede occupy the central crossroads of parish life. Harriet, plump, elegant and jolly, likes nothing better than to make a fuss of new curates, secure in the knowledge that elderly Italian Count Ricardo Bianco will propose to her yet again this year. Belinda, meanwhile has harboured sober feelings of devotion towards Archdeacon Hochleve for thirty years.Then into their quiet, comfortable lives comes a famous librarian, Nathaniel Mold, and a bishop from Africa, Theodore Grote - who each take to calling on the sisters for rather more unsettling reasons.

Virago

Civil To Strangers

Barbara Pym
Authors:
Barbara Pym
Virago

No Fond Return Of Love

Barbara Pym
Authors:
Barbara Pym

Dulcie Mainwearing is always helping others, but never looks out for herself - especially in the realm of love. Her friend Viola is besotted by the alluring Dr Aylwin Forbes, so surely it isn't prying if Dulcie helps things along? Aylwin, however, is smitten by Dulcie's pretty young niece. And perhaps Dulcie herself, however ridiculous it may be, is falling, just a little, for Aylwin. Once life's little humiliations are played out, maybe love will be returned, and fondly, after all . . .

Virago

Jane And Prudence

Barbara Pym
Authors:
Barbara Pym

Alan Lightman

Alan Lightman - who worked for many years as a theoretical physicist - is the author of six novels, including the international bestseller Einstein's Dreams, as well as The Diagnosis, a finalist for the National Book Award. He is also the author of a memoir, three collections of essays, and several books on science. His work has appeared in The Atlantic, Granta, Harper's Magazine, The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books, and Nature, among other publications. He has taught at Harvard and at MIT, where he was the first person to receive a dual faculty appointment in science and the humanities. He lives in the Boston area.

Alex Kava

Alex Kava is the New York Times bestselling author of the critically acclaimed series featuring former Marine Ryder Creed and his K9 dogs, and the international bestselling Maggie O'Dell series. Her novel Stranded was awarded both a Florida Book Award and the Nebraska Book Award. Her standalone novel One False Move was chosen for the 2006 One Book One Nebraska and in 2007 she received the Mari Sandoz Award. Her political thriller Whitewash was also named one of January Magazine's best thrillers of the year.Published in thirty-two countries with over six million copies sold, Kava's novels have made the bestseller lists in the UK, Australia, Germany, Japan, Italy and Poland. She is a member of the Nebraska Writers Guild and International Thriller Writers. Kava and her pack of Westies divide their time between Omaha, Nebraska and Pensacola, Florida.

Alexander McCall Smith

Alexander McCall Smith is the author of over eighty books on a wide array of subjects, including the award-winning The No.1 Ladies' Detective Agency series. He is also the author of the Isabel Dalhousie novels and the world's longest-running serial novel, 44 Scotland Street. His books have been translated into forty-six languages. Alexander McCall Smith is Professor Emeritus of Medical Law at the University of Edinburgh and holds honorary doctorates from thirteen universities.

Ali McNamara

Ali McNamara attributes her over-active and very vivid imagination to one thing - being an only child. Time spent dreaming up adventures when she was young has left her with a head bursting with stories waiting to be told.When stories she wrote for fun on Ronan Keating's website became so popular they were sold as a fundraising project for his cancer awareness charity, Ali realised that not only was writing something she enjoyed doing, but something others enjoyed reading too. Ali lives in Cambridgeshire with her family and two Labradors. When she isn't writing, she likes to travel, read, and people-watch, more often than not accompanied by a good cup of coffee. Her dogs and a love of exercise keep her sane!To find out more about Ali visit her website: www.alimcnamara.co.uk or follow her on Twitter: @AliMcNamara

Ali Smith

Ali Smith was born in Inverness and lives in Cambridge. She is the author of three collections of stories and three novels. Hotel World was shortlisted for both the Booker Prize and the Orange Prize in 2001 and her latest novel, The Accidental, won the 2006 Whitbread Novel Award. Ali reviews regularly for the Guardian, the Scotsman and the TLS.

Catherynne M. Valente

Catherynne M. Valente is the New York Times bestselling author of over two dozen works of fiction and poetry, including Palimpsest, the Orphan's Tales series, Deathless and the crowdfunded phenomenon The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairyland in a Ship of Her Own Making. She is the winner of the Andre Norton, Tiptree, Mythopoeic, Rhysling, Lambda, Locus and Hugo awards. She has been a finalist for the Nebula and World Fantasy Awards. She lives on an island off the coast of Maine with a small but growing menagerie of beasts, some of which are human.

Celeste Ng

Celeste Ng grew up in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Shaker Heights, Ohio. She attended Harvard University and earned an MFA from the University of Michigan. Her debut novel, Everything I Never Told You, won the Hopwood Award, the Massachusetts Book Award, the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, and the American Library Association's Alex Award. She is a 2016 National Endowment for the Arts Fellow, and she lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts.

Courttia Newland

Courttia Newland has written three novels and has contributed to various anthologies including DISCO 2000, NEW WRITERS 8, AFROBEAT and TEENAGE KICKS. Film rights to THE SCHOLAR have been optioned and he is working on the screenplay.

Diane Janes

DIANE JANES grew up in Birmingham and has lived in the north of England for the last twenty years. Between marrying and raising two children she worked in seemingly every field, from mortgages to engineering, until she gave up the day job to write full time. This resulted in two shortlistings for the CWA Debut Dagger and subsequent publication. The Pull of the Moon was shortlisted for the 2010 CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger.

Elizabeth Peters

Elizabeth Peters is a pen name of Barbara Mertz, who earned her Ph.D. in Egyptology from the University of Chicago's famed Oriental Institute. Over the course of her fifty-year career she wrote more than seventy mystery and suspense novels, and three nonfiction books on Egypt. She was the recipient of numerous writing awards, including grandmaster and lifetime achievement awards from the Mystery Writers of America, Malice Domestic, and Bouchercon. In 2012 she was given the first Amelia Peabody Award, created in her honor, at the Malice Domestic convention. She died in 2013, leaving a partially completed manuscript of The Painted Queen.

Farahad Zama

Farahad Zama moved to London in 1990 from Vizag in India, where the novel is set. He is a father of two, and he works for an investment bank.

Gabrielle Zevin

Gabrielle Zevin was raised by parents who took her to the library like it was church. She suspects that is why she became a writer. Her career began at age fourteen when an angry letter to her local newspaper about a Guns 'n' Roses concert resulted in a job as a music critic. Over eight novels for adults and young people, she has written about female soldiers in Iraq, mafia princesses in retro-future New York City, teenage girls in the afterlife, talking dogs, amnesiacs, and the difficulties of loving one person over many years. Her last novel, The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, was a New York Times bestseller.