Shortlisted for the 1977 Booker Prize
This is the story of four people in late middle-age – Edwin, Norman, Letty and Marcia – whose chief point of contact is that they work in the same office and they suffer the same problem – loneliness. Lovingly, poignantly, satirically and with much humour, Pym conducts us through their small lives and the facade they erect to defend themselves against the outside world. There is nevertheless an obstinate optimism in her characters, allowing them in their different ways to win through to a kind of hope. Barbara Pym’s sensitive wit and artistry are at their most sparkling in “Quartet in Autumn”.
“An exquisite, even magnificent work of art” – Observer
“‘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
“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
“Very funny and keenly observant of the ridiculous as well as the pathetic in humanity” – Financial Times