By Barbara Pym
Whilst Barbara Pym died in 1980 she left a large amount of unpublished fabric. This quantity includes an early novel, CIVIL TO STRANGERS, 3 novellas and an autobiographical essay, 'Finding a Voice', Pym's simply written touch upon her writing profession. In CIVIL TO STRANGERS the lives of a tender couple, Cassandra Marsh-Gibbon and her self-absorbed author husband Adam, are thrown into upheaval while a mysterious Hungarian arrives of their village.
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Additional info for Civil to Strangers (Virago Modern Classics)
She hid the portfolio under her mattress, saving it for closer study. The aroma of pancakes rose from downstairs, and an unfamiliar grumble sounded in her stomach. She imagined, below in the kitchen, the woman stirring the batter, setting the table, preparing herself. The time was right for her entrance. Standing on her toes, Norah could just reach the bottom of the mirror by the door. She wet her fingertips in her mouth and combed her tangled hair, straightened her glasses, and practiced smiling.
Granddaughter? ” “Oh, sure there is,” Joyce said. “She showed me a new hat and coat. ” He chuckled to himself. ” The baby kicked again at the sound of his voice, and wicked desire filled Joyce with a guilty pleasure. She twisted her wedding ring and looked hopelessly at the front door, wondering if anyone would come in. 10 During long division, as Mrs. Patterson worked on remainders at the chalkboard, Sean kept spinning around in his desk chair to make sure Norah stayed awake. Even when he was called to the front to demonstrate how to divide 400 by 6, he checked on the progress of her fatigue.
They shuffled in a daze from bin to bin, and Margaret read in every face some suffering or disappointment, their hopes and dreams marked down, 40 percent off. She wondered if others saw the shame written in her eyes and scratched across her brow. The others, if they noticed her at all, must have recognized her as that woman whose daughter had run away from home, gotten into trouble, and never returned. Photographs of Erica had been in the papers and on television when the story broke, and even Margaret and Paul had once been on the front page of the local newspaper.