In 1970s London, Edwin, Norman, Letty and Marcia work in the same office and suffer the same problem - loneliness. With delightful humour, Pym takes us through their day-to-day existence: their preoccupations, their irritations, their judgements; and, perhaps most keenly felt, their worries about having somehow missed out on life as post-war Britain shifted around them. Deliciously, blackly funny and full of obstinate optimism, Quartet in Autumn shows Barbara Pym's sensitive artistry at its most sparkling. A classic from one of Britain's most loved and highly acclaimed novelists, its world is both extraordinary and familiar, revealing the eccentricities of everyday life.
'No novelist brings more telling observation or more gentle pleasure' Jilly Cooper
Barbara Pym's unpretentious, subtle, accomplished novels ... are for me the finest examples of high comedy to have appeared in England during the past 75 years...spectacular Sunday Times Barbara Pym has a sharp eye for the exact nuances of social behaviour The Times The wit and style of a twentieth century Jane Austen Harpers & Queen Very funny and keenly observant of the ridiculous as well as the pathetic in humanity Financial Times A spare masterpiece of loneliness in retirement Telegraph Quartet in Autumn is immeasurably her finest work of fiction Evening Standard An alert miniaturist ... her novels have a distinctive flavour, as instantly recognisable as lapsang tea Daily Telegraph
A writer from the age of sixteen, Barbara Pym has been acclaimed as "the most underrated writer of the century" (Philip Larkin). Pym's substantial reputation evolved through the publication of six novels from 1950 to 1961, then resumed in 1977 with the publication of Quartet in Autumn and three other novels. She died in 1980.