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Book Title: An Unsuitable Attachment|
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Reader ratings: 3.6
The author of the book: Barbara Pym
Edition: Moyer Bell and its subsidiaries
Date of issue: January 1st 2010
ISBN 13: 9781559213547
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 19.11 MB
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The wonderful thing about Barbara Pym is her ability to take believable characters and have them do such queer things in such a delightful way. Her legacy of seeing slightly askew gave John Updike, Anita Brookner and a whole raft of writers the courage to carry on. An Unsuitable Attachment is set in a parish outside of London. There the novel's "unattached" characters work out a confusing web of matchmaking and forming attachments. A new eligible bachelor in the neighborhood, Rupert Stonebird, finds himself choosing between two very different women. Sophie, the wife of the Vicar of St. Basil, becomes determined to match her sister Penelope with Rubert, a plan that would seem to work well until a graceful and quite suitable Iantha Broome also becomes a member of the community. As Rupert grapples with courting either Penelope or Iantha, Iantha finds herself with two more suitors. This elegant novel will keep readers enthralled as unsuitable and suitable attachments unfold An Unsuitable Attachment is such a book.
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Read information about the authorAfter studying English at St Hilda's College, Oxford, she served in the Women's Royal Naval Service during World War II.
The turning point for Pym came with a famous article in the Times Literary Supplement in which two prominent names, Lord David Cecil and Philip Larkin, nominated her as the most underrated writer of the century. Pym and Larkin had kept up a private correspondence over a period of many years. Her comeback novel, Quartet in Autumn, was nominated for the Booker Prize. Another novel, The Sweet Dove Died, previously rejected by many publishers, was subsequently published to critical acclaim, and several of her previously unpublished novels were published after her death.
Pym worked at the International African Institute in London for some years, and played a large part in the editing of its scholarly journal, Africa, hence the frequency with which anthropologists crop up in her novels. She never married, despite several close relationships with men, notably Henry Harvey, a fellow Oxford student, and the future politician, Julian Amery. After her retirement, she moved into Barn Cottage at Finstock in Oxfordshire with her younger sister, Hilary, who continued to live there until her death in February 2005. A blue plaque was placed on the cottage in 2006. The sisters played an active role in the social life of the village.
Several strong themes link the works in the Pym "canon", which are more notable for their style and characterisation than for their plots. A superficial reading gives the impression that they are sketches of village or suburban life, with excessive significance being attached to social activities connected with the Anglican church (in particular its Anglo-Catholic incarnation). However, the dialogue is often deeply ironic, and a tragic undercurrent runs through some of the later novels, especially Quartet in Autumn and The Sweet Dove Died.
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