An elderly writer of popular comedies and her liberal husband, a judge, are accosted in mid-swim by three crass young archivists. In distracting their inquisitors, the couple show the greatest mannerliness while treading water.
A famous cellist develops an unruly attachment to his bed. His accompanist suggests an analyst, but takes the sessions himself, lending a fond angle to transference.
A quiet, wise man watches his blustering City stepson take over his house and his being and has not the heart to see his usurping heir's action as the pattern of push and shove.
With assusrance, acuity and her lucid wit, Penelope Gilliatt lays bare the non-utterances that are the crucial ellipses of the human temperament. Candid, resonant and always compassionate, these are unforgettable tales form a genius of the short story.
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Her wits are witty, her moments of ghastly farce perfectly achieved... in a taunt and lucid phraseology without tricks, but with precise effects ( OBSERVER)
Penelope Gilliatt is one of our really distinctive talents, a true original (Rebecca West)
The kind of fine collection whose last page is turned with the hope that there will be more ( Saturday Review)
Miss Gilliatt writes beautifully - not only are her stories touching and filled with insight, but her style is refreshingly clear. She celebrates the bittersweet human condition in prose that brings us her visions undistorted. It is a pleasure to recommend this excellent collection, rich with awareness and intelligence ( Los Angeles Times)
She is highly intelligent, economical, poignant, highly contemporary (Anthony Burgess New York Times Book Review)
Perhaps because Miss Gilliatt has written two novels, these stories have the tense carrying power we all hope for in a book of short stories but more often find in a good novel. These are fresh, exact, passionate reports on the permanent pains of youth, the elegiac self-knowledge of age, fame, victory and defeat. Every story gives us not only the rare, old-fashioned pleasure of a well-told tale, but the exhilaration of having learned something new about the head and the heart (Lillian Hellman)
Gilliatt prefers to let one quivering sentence stand for a night's tragedy, a scrap of dialogue represent an entire courtship, a paragraph encapsulate a lifetime... She's subversive, this spare and beautiful Miss Gilliatt. Get hooked on her ( COSMOPOLITAN)
Born in 1932, Penelope Gilliatt was an English novelist, short story writer, screenwriter, and film critic. She is perhaps best known for writing the screenplay for Sunday, Bloody Sunday (1971) and she wrote several novels, including One by One (1965) and A State of Change (1967). As a film critic, Gilliatt wrote numerous reviews for The Observer before she began a column that ran for years in The New Yorker, in which she alternated for six month intervals with Pauline Kael as chief film reviewer. She was married to playwright John Osborne from 1963-1968, giving him his only natural child a daughter, Nolan. She died on 9 May 1993.
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Book Description Penguin Books Ltd, 1979. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # 0140045988