Elizabeth Taylor - Dangerous Calm - Little, Brown Book Group

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Books in this series

Dangerous Calm

Selected Stories

By Elizabeth Taylor

  • Paperback
  • £16.00

A collection of short stories, two previously unpublished, by Elizabeth Taylor: 'a joy to read... Taylor excels in conveying the tragicomic pognancy of the everyday' (Daily Telegraph)

In 1945 the publication of AT MRS LIPPINCOTE'S launched Elizabeth Taylor's career. The author of twelve novels and four collections of short stories, she excelled at unravelling the comedy of ordinary life. DANGEROUS CALM draws on her volumes of short stories to produce a fine selection of her work. Stories such as 'Summer Schools', 'Flesh' and 'The Devastating Boys' confirm her status as one of the finest short story writers. This selection also features two previously unpublished stories and three uncollected ones, including the late, poignant tale, 'The Wrong Order'. Together they celebrate a formidable stylist whose work has delighted readers and critics for fifty years.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781860493539
  • Publication date: 02 Oct 1997
  • Page count: 352
  • Imprint: Virago
When you read her work there's always an element of self-congratulation. Oh, what you've caught — ANNE TYLER
Not a tale here fails to expand in the imagination of the reader — ELIZABETH BOWEN
Virago

Mossy Trotter

Elizabeth Taylor, Tony Ross
Contributors:
Elizabeth Taylor, Tony Ross
Virago

A View Of The Harbour

Elizabeth Taylor
Authors:
Elizabeth Taylor
Virago

Complete Short Stories

Elizabeth Taylor
Authors:
Elizabeth Taylor
Virago

The Sleeping Beauty

Elizabeth Taylor
Authors:
Elizabeth Taylor

INTRODUCED BY DAVID BADDIELA subtle love story by one of the most accomplished writers of the 20th centuryVinny Tumulty is a quiet, sensible man. When he goes to stay at a seaside town, his task is to comfort a bereaved friend. Vinny is prepared for a solemn few days of tears and consolation. But on the evening of his arrival, he looks out of the window at the sunset and catches sight of a mysterious, romantic figure: a beautiful woman walking by the seashore. Before the week is over Vinny has fallen in love, completely and utterly, for the first time in his middle-aged life. Emily, though, is a sleeping beauty, her secluded life hiding bitter secrets from the past.

Virago

Palladian

Elizabeth Taylor
Authors:
Elizabeth Taylor

An amusing, wry homage to Jane Eyre by one of the best novelists of the twentieth century.When newly orphaned Cassandra Dashwood arrives as governess to little Sophy, the scene seems set for the archetypal romance between young girl and austere widowed employer. Strange secrets abound in the ramshackle house. But conventions are subverted in this atmospheric novel: one of its worlds is suffused with classical scholarship and literary romance, but the other is chaotic, quarrelsome and even farcical. Cassandra is to discover that in real life, tragedy, comedy and acute embarrassment are never far apart.

Virago

At Mrs Lippincote's

Elizabeth Taylor
Authors:
Elizabeth Taylor

The debut novel from Elizabeth Taylor - shortlisted for the Booker Prize*Mrs Lippincote's house, with its mahogany furniture and yellowing photographs, stands as a reminder of all the certainties that have vanished with the advent of war. Temporarily, this is home for Julia, who has joined her husband Roddy at the behest of the RAF. Although she can accept the pomposities of service life, Julia's honesty and sense of humour prevent her from taking her role as seriously as her husband, that leader of men, might wish; for Roddy, merely love cannot suffice - he needs homage as well as admiration. And Julia, while she may be a most unsatisfactory officer's wife, is certainly no hypocrite.*'Her stories remain with one, indelibly, as though they had been some turning-point in one's own experience' Elizabeth Bowen 'No writer has described the English middle classes with more gently devastating accuracy' Rebecca Abrams, Spectator 'A Game of Hide and Seek showcases much of what makes Taylor a great novelist: piercing insight, a keen wit and a genuine sense of feeling for her characters' Elizabeth Day, Guardian

Virago

A Wreath Of Roses

Elizabeth Taylor
Authors:
Elizabeth Taylor
Virago

Blaming

Elizabeth Taylor
Authors:
Elizabeth Taylor

'How deeply I envy any reader coming to her for the first time!' Elizabeth Jane Howard* A finely nuanced exploration of responsibility, snobbery and culture clash from one of the twentieth centrury's finest novelists.When Amy's husband dies on holiday in Istanbul, she is supported by the kindly but rather slovenly Martha, a young American novelist who lives in London. Upon their return to England, Amy is ungratefully reluctant to maintain their friendship, but the skeins of their existence seem inextricably linked as grief gives way to resilience and again to tragedy. Reversals of fortune and a compelling cast of characters, including Ernie, ex-sailor turned housekeeper, and Amy's wonderfully precocious granddaughters, add spice to a novel that delights even as it unveils the most uncomfortable human emotions.*'Her stories remain with one, indelibly, as though they had been some turning-point in one's own experience' Elizabeth Bowen 'No writer has described the English middle classes with more gently devastating accuracy' Rebecca Abrams, Spectator 'A Game of Hide and Seek showcases much of what makes Taylor a great novelist: piercing insight, a keen wit and a genuine sense of feeling for her characters' Elizabeth Day, Guardian

Virago

Angel

Elizabeth Taylor
Authors:
Elizabeth Taylor
Virago

The Soul Of Kindness

Elizabeth Taylor
Authors:
Elizabeth Taylor

'Elizabeth Taylor is finally being recognised as an important British author: an author of great subtlety, great compassion and great depth. As a reader, I have found huge pleasure in returning to Taylor's novels and short stories many times over. As a writer I've returned to her too - in awe of her achievements, and trying to work out how she does it' Sarah WatersA brilliant novel about the damage caused by relentless 'niceness'. Uncritical, encouraging, 'the soul of kindness', Flora's help is the cruelest hindrance to those who love her most.'Here I am!' Flora called to Richard as she went downstairs. For a second, Meg felt disloyalty. It occurred to her of a sudden that Flora was always saying that, and that it was in the tone of one giving a lovely present.Elegant, blonde and beautiful, Flora has everything under control: her perfect home, her husband Richard, her friend Meg, adoring Kit, and the writer Patrick. Flora entrances everyone, dangling visions of happiness and success before their spellbound eyes. All are bewitched by this golden tyrant. Except, that is, for the clear-eyed painter, Liz, who can see that Flora's kindness is the sweetest poison of them all.

Virago

The Wedding Group

Elizabeth Taylor
Authors:
Elizabeth Taylor

First published in 1968, this quietly ironic exploration of the ways in which the parental mould is not easily broken, is one of Elizabeth Taylor's most ambitious novels.You know,' Midge began, and paused. She was rather taken aback, and could not at once think of anything to say. 'Perhaps there's nothing so dangerous as having led a sheltered life.'Cressy has grown up in a world of women, presided over by her eccentric, artistic grandfather Harry Bretton. Rebelling against the wholesome, organic values of her home life, Cressy decides to leave home in search of more ephemeral pleasures. Taking a job in an antiques shop, she meets David, a self-satisfied journalist, also looking for means of fleeing the family nest. But as Cressy cannot fend for herself and David is securely tied to his mother's apron strings, this act of escape for both of them proves a powerful form of bondage.

Virago

A Game Of Hide And Seek

Elizabeth Taylor
Authors:
Elizabeth Taylor
Virago

In A Summer Season

Elizabeth Taylor
Authors:
Elizabeth Taylor

In a Summer Season is one of Elizabeth Taylor's finest novels in which, in a moving and powerful climax, she reveals love to be the thing it is: beautiful, often funny, and sometimes tragic.'You taste of rain', he said, kissing her. 'People say I married her for her money', he thought contentedly, and for the moment was full of the self-respect that loving her had given him.Kate Heron is a wealthy, charming widow who marries, much to the disapproval of friends and neighbours, a man ten years her junior: the attractive, feckless Dermot. Then comes the return of Kate's old friend Charles - intelligent, kind and now widowed, with his beautiful young daughter. Kate watches happily as their two families are drawn together, finding his presence reassuringly familiar, but slowly she becomes aware of subtle undercurrents that begin to disturb the calm surface of their friendship. Before long, even she cannot ignore the gathering storm . . .

Virago

Mrs Palfrey At The Claremont

Elizabeth Taylor
Authors:
Elizabeth Taylor

Shortlisted for the Booker PrizeA humorous and compassionate look at friendship between an old woman and a young man.On a rainy Sunday in January, the recently widowed Mrs Palfrey arrives at the Claremont Hotel where she will spend her remaining days. Her fellow residents are magnificently eccentric and endlessly curious, living off crumbs of affection and snippets of gossip. Together, upper lips stiffened, they fight off their twin enemies: boredom and the Grim Reaper. Then one day Mrs Palfrey strikes up an unlikely friendship with an impoverished young writer, Ludo, who sees her as inspiration for his novel.

Virago

Hester Lilly

Elizabeth Taylor
Authors:
Elizabeth Taylor

The title story shows a headmaster's elegant wife suffering torments of jealousy when his gawky young cousin comes to live with them. Why is it that her sophistication seems unable to compete with Hester's naivety? Elsewhere we see the mute agonies of a long marriage; the emotional deserts lurking in the English countryside; and old ruffian's sense of suffocation in a genteel community for the blind; or the freshness and oddity of children's perceptions. In this, her first collection of short stories, Elizabeth Taylor charts the territory she so triumphantly claimed as her own.

Virago

The Blush

Elizabeth Taylor
Authors:
Elizabeth Taylor

Amongst the characters in this collection of short stories are the upright Mrs Allen, who unwittingly provides an alibi for her slackly corseted home help, and Emily, who has written fluent, amusing letters to a distinguished novelist for 10 years but descends into small talk when they meet.

Virago

The Devastating Boys

Elizabeth Taylor
Authors:
Elizabeth Taylor

A collection of stories, of which the title story The Devastating Boys depicts two black waifs from London, guests of a settled country couple. They cause upheaval, but bring unexpected joy and renewal.

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.

Dale Brown

Dale Brown is the author of numerous New York Times bestsellers, starting with Flight of the Old Dog in 1987. A former U.S. Air Force captain, he often flies his own plane over the skies of the United States.

David Sedaris

With sardonic wit and incisive social critiques, David Sedaris has become one of America's pre-eminent humor writers. The great skill with which he slices through cultural euphemisms and political correctness proves that Sedaris is a master of satire and one of the most observant writers addressing the human condition today. David Sedaris is the author of Barrel Fever and Holidays on Ice, as well as collections of personal essays, Naked, Me Talk Pretty One Day, Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim, When You Are Engulfed in Flames and his most recent book, Let's Explore Diabetes with Owls, each of which became an immediate bestseller. The audio version of Let's Explore Diabetes With Owls was a Grammy nominee for Best Spoken Word Album. He is the author of the New York Times-bestselling collection of fables entitled Squirrel Seeks Chipmunk: A Wicked Bestiary (with illustrations by Ian Falconer). He was also the editor of Children Playing Before a Statue of Hercules: An Anthology of Outstanding Stories. Sedaris's pieces appear regularly in the New Yorker and have twice been included in 'The Best American Essays'. There are a total of ten million copies of his books in print and they have been translated into twenty-nine languages.