Barbara Pym - An Academic Question - Little, Brown Book Group

Time remaining

  • -- days
  • -- hours
  • -- minutes
  • -- seconds
Other Formats
  • E-Book £P.O.R.
    More information
    • ISBN:9780748128112
    • Publication date:03 May 2012
Books in this series

An Academic Question

By Barbara Pym

  • Paperback
  • £8.99

*Another delightful comedy of manners from 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.

Biographical Notes

Barbara Pym (1913-80) was born in Shropshire and educated at St Hilda's College, Oxford. When in 1977 the TLS asked critics to name the most underrated authors of the past 75 years, only one was named twice (by Philip Larkin and Lord David Cecil): Barbara Pym. Her novels are characterised by what Anne Tyler has called 'the heartbreaking silliness of everyday life'.

  • Other details

  • ISBN: 9781844087235
  • Publication date: 03 May 2012
  • Page count: 224
  • Imprint: Virago
Sphere

An Island Christmas

Jenny Colgan
Authors:
Jenny Colgan

Christmas on the remote Scottish island of Mure is bleak, stark - and incredibly beautiful.It's a time for hunkering down, getting cosy in front of whisky barrel wood fires, and enjoying a dram with the people you love - unless, of course, you're accidentally pregnant to your ex-boss, and don't know how to tell him. In what should be the season of peace and goodwill on earth, will Joel think Flora is a bearer of glad tidings?Meanwhile Saif, the doctor and refugee from war-torn Syria is trying to enjoy his first western Christmas with his sons - but without his missing wife. Can the little family possibly find comfort and joy?Travel to the beautiful northern edge of the world and join the welcoming community of Mure for an unforgettable Christmas.

Dialogue Books

XX

Angela Chadwick
Authors:
Angela Chadwick
Sphere

Insidious Intent

Val McDermid
Authors:
Val McDermid

Discover the breathtaking new novel from the inimitable queen of crime and number one bestseller Val McDermid, featuring two of the most iconic and unforgettable characters in crime fiction: Tony Hill and Carol Jordan'Murdered people don't kill themselves . . .'A quiet night on a country road. The stillness shattered by a car engulfed in flames, and a burned body discovered in the driver's seat. As the investigation unfolds, DCI Carol Jordan and psychological profiler Tony Hill quickly realise that this is more than just a tragic accident. And so begins the hunt for a truly terrifying killer, someone who believes he is invisible, untraceable and untouchable.As other victims are found to have met the same terrible fate, and with more women at risk, Tony and Carol are drawn into a dark and twisted web of fear and revenge that will force them to question their own ideas of justice . . .'The queen of crime is still at the top of her game' Independent

Corsair

Jack the Ripper: Case Closed

Gyles Brandreth
Authors:
Gyles Brandreth

London. 1894. 'I am not a detective, chief constable.' 'No, but you are a poet, a freemason and a man of the world. All useful qualifications for the business in hand.' So says Police Chief Macnaghten to Oscar Wilde, in a Chelsea drawing room in the company of Arthur Conan Doyle. The business they are gathered to discuss is none other than the case of Jack the Ripper, the most notorious murderer in England. And thus the three men set out to solve one of the world's most famous mysteries - the ultimate truth about the identity of Jack the Ripper. Case Closed is Arthur Conan Doyle's account of the events of 1894, the year of the return of Jack the Ripper. Based on Oscar Wilde's real-life friendship with Conan Doyle and the extraordinary but little-known fact that in 1894 the detective in charge of the Jack the Ripper investigations was Oscar Wilde's neighbour in Tite Street, Chelsea, this is a revelatory and gripping detective story, combining the intrigue of a classic murder mystery with a witty and compelling portrait of one of the greatest characters of the Victorian age.

Orbit

The End of the Day

Claire North
Authors:
Claire North
Little, Brown

English Animals

Laura Kaye
Authors:
Laura Kaye

'A beautiful and bold debut' M.J. Hyland, author of the Man Booker-shortlisted Carry Me DownIt's a long time since I've enjoyed any debut novel as much as English Animals. Its command of tone, narrative and character is so assured, and both its wit and perceptiveness about a certain kind of English life make it a joy to read' Amanda CraigEnglish Animals is a brilliantly assured debut that fans of Nina Stibbe's writing will love.I opened my mouth to say something but she ran up the steps and into the house. I had imagined arriving at the house so many times, but it was never like this. I realised I knew nothing about these people. Richard and Sophie sounded like good names for good people. But they could be anything, they could be completely crazy.When Mirka gets a job in a country house in rural England, she has no idea of the struggle she faces to make sense of a very English couple, and a way of life that is entirely alien to her. Richard and Sophie are chaotic, drunken, frequently outrageous but also warm, generous and kind to Mirka, despite their argumentative and turbulent marriage.Mirka is swiftly commandeered by Richard for his latest money-making enterprise, taxidermy, and soon surpasses him in skill. After a traumatic break two years ago with her family in Slovakia, Mirka finds to her surprise that she is happy at Fairmont Hall. But when she tells Sophie that she is gay, everything she values is put in danger and she must learn the hard way what she really believes in. English Animals is a funny, subversive, poignant and beautifully written novel about a doomed love affair, a certain kind of Englishness and prejudice.

Corsair

The Sympathizer

Viet Thanh Nguyen
Authors:
Viet Thanh Nguyen

*** WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE FOR FICTION 2016***WINNER OF THE EDGAR AWARD FOR BEST FIRST NOVEL 2016WINNER OF THE CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE IN FICTION 2016'A fierce novel written in a refreshingly high style and charged with intelligent rage' Financial TimesIt is April 1975, and Saigon is in chaos. At his villa, a general of the South Vietnamese army is drinking whiskey and, with the help of his trusted captain, drawing up a list of those who will be given passage aboard the last flights out of the country. The general and his compatriots start a new life in Los Angeles, unaware that one among their number, the captain, is secretly observing and reporting on the group to a higher-up in the Viet Cong. The Sympathizer is the story of this captain: a man brought up by an absent French father and a poor Vietnamese mother, a man who went to university in America, but returned to Vietnam to fight for the Communist cause. A gripping spy novel, an astute exploration of extreme politics, and a moving love story, The Sympathizer explores a life between two worlds and examines the legacy of the Vietnam War in literature, film, and the wars we fight today.'A bold, artful and globally minded reimagining of the Vietnam war . . . The Sympathizer is an excellent literary novel, and one that ends, with unsettling present-day resonance, in a refugee boat where opposing ideas about intentions, actions and their consequences take stark and resilient human form' the Guardian'Beautifully written and meaty'Claire Messud'[A] remarkable debut novel . . . In its final chapters, The Sympathizer becomes an absurdist tour de force that might have been written by a Kafka or Genet'New York Times'This debut is a page-turner (read: everybody will finish) that makes you reconsider the Vietnam War ... Nguyen's darkly comic novel offers a point of view about American culture that we've rarely seen'Oprah.com (Oprah's Book Club Suggestions)

Piatkus

The Liar

Nora Roberts
Authors:
Nora Roberts
Virago

Crampton Hodnet

Barbara Pym
Authors:
Barbara Pym

Formidable Miss Doggett fills her life by giving tea parties to young academics and acting as watchdog of the morals of North Oxford. Anthea, her great-niece, is in love with a dashing upper-class undergraduate with political ambitions. Of this, Miss Doggett thoroughly approves. Anthea's father, however, an Oxford don, is tired of his marriage and carrying on in the most unseemly fashion with his student Barbara Bird - they have been spotted together at the British Museum! Miss Doggett isn't aware, though, that under her very own roof the lodging curate has proposed to her paid companion Miss Morrow. She wouldn't approve of that at all.

Virago

Civil To Strangers

Barbara Pym
Authors:
Barbara Pym
Virago

Less Than Angels

Barbara Pym
Authors:
Barbara Pym

Less Than Angels follows the loves, works and hopes of a group of young anthropologists. Catherine Oliphant is a writer and lives with handsome anthropologist Tom Mallow. Their relationship runs into trouble when he begins a romance with student Deirdre Swann, so Catherine turns her attention to the reclusive anthropologist Alaric Lydgate, who has a fondness for wearing African masks. Added to this love triangle are the activities of Deirdre's fellow students and their attempts to win the competition for a research grant. The course of true love or academia never did run smooth.

Virago

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.

Virago

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

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

Excellent Women

Barbara Pym
Authors:
Barbara Pym

Cover design by Orla KielyMildred 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.

Virago

Jane And Prudence

Barbara Pym
Authors:
Barbara Pym

Over the years, as Barbara Pym replaced Nancy Mitford, Georgette Heyer, even Jane Austen, as my most loved author, I devoured all her books, but JANE AND PRUDENCE remains my favourite. Even an umpteenth reading this weekend was punctuated by gasps of joy, laughter and wonder that this lovely book should remain so fresh, funny and true to life' Jilly Cooper'The setting of this very funny novel, one of Barbara Pym's earliest, is an English village where Jane's husband is the newly appointed vicar, and where Prudence will pay Jane a visit and find herself courted by a fatuous young widower. Prudence, at twenty-nine, has achieved nothing in life but a dull research job in London and a string of dud affairs; Jane, now in her forties, was Prudence's tutor at Oxford. Jane cheerfully concedes that she is an incompetent housewife, but she hopes that the move to a rural parish may transform her into a Trollopean vicar's wife, as well as a crafty matchmaker. There are many comic complications here, as Jane learns that matchmaking has as many pitfalls as does housewifery' The New Yorker

Virago

The Dud Avocado

Elaine Dundy
Authors:
Elaine Dundy

Julian Rathbone

Julian Rathbone is the author of many books, including the hugely acclaimed THE LAST ENGLISH KING, KINGS OF ALBION and the Booker shortlisted JOSEPH.

Linda Howard

Linda Howard is an award-winning NEW YORK TIMES bestselling author. She lives in Alabama with her husband and one golden retriever.

Robert Winder

Robert Winder was literary editor of the INDEPENDENT for 5 years. He has written two novels.