You'll Enjoy It When You Get There: The Stories of Elizabeth Taylor

You'll Enjoy It When You Get There: The Stories of Elizabeth Taylor


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Elizabeth Taylor is finally beginning to gain the recognition due to her as one of the best English writers of the postwar period, prized and praised by Sarah Waters and Hilary Mantel, among others. Inheriting Ivy Compton-Burnett’s uncanny sensitivity to the terrifying undercurrents that swirl beneath the apparent calm of respectable family life while showing a deep sympathy of her own for human loneliness, Taylor depicted dislocation with the unflinching presence of mind of Graham Greene. But for Taylor, unlike Greene, dislocation began not in distant climes but right at home. It is in the living room, playroom, and bedroom that Taylor stages her unforgettable dramas of alienation and impossible desire.

Taylor’s stories, many of which originally appeared in The New Yorker, are her central achievement. Here are self-improving spinsters and gossiping girls, war orphans and wallflowers, honeymooners and barmaids, mistresses and murderers. Margaret Drabble’s new selection reveals a writer whose wide sympathies and restless curiosity are matched by a steely penetration into the human heart and mind.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781590177273
Publisher: New York Review Books
Publication date: 09/23/2014
Series: NYRB Classics Series
Pages: 400
Sales rank: 797,156
Product dimensions: 5.30(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.80(d)

About the Author

Elizabeth Taylor (1912–1975) was born into a middle-class family in Berkshire, England. She held a variety of positions, including librarian and governess, before marrying a businessman in 1936. Nine years later, her first novel, At Mrs. Lippincote’s, appeared. She would go on to publish eleven more novels, including Angel and A Game of Hide and Seek (both available as NYRB Classics), four collections of short stories (many of which originally appeared in The New Yorker, Harper’s, and other magazines), and a children’s book, Mossy Trotter, while living with her husband and two children in Buckingham­shire. Long championed  by Ivy Compton-Burnett, Barbara Pym, Robert Liddell, Kingsley Amis, and Elizabeth Jane Howard, Taylor’s novels and stories have been the basis for a number of films, including Mrs. Palfrey at the Claremont (2005), starring Joan Plowright, and François Ozon’s Angel (2007).

Margaret Drabble is the author of eighteen novels, including The Needle’s Eye, The Peppered Moth, The Seven Sisters, The Sea Lady, and most recently, The Pure Gold Baby. Among her works of nonfiction are biographies of Arnold Bennett and Angus Wilson. She has edited the fifth and sixth editions of the Oxford Companion to World Literature and was made a Dame of the British Empire in 2008.

Table of Contents

Introduction vii

From Hester Lilly (1954)

Hester Lilly 3

Gravement Endommagé 72

The Idea of Age 80

Shadows of the World 86

Oasis of Gaiety 95

Plenty Good Fiesta 105

From the Blush (1958)

The Blush 111

The Letter-writers 119

A Troubled State of Mind 133

The Rose, the Mauve, the White 159

Summer Schools 174

Perhaps a Family Failing 198

You'll Enjoy It When You Get There 208

From a Dedicated Man (1965)

Girl Reading 217

The Thames Spread Out 237

The Prerogative of Love 251

The Benefactress 265

In the Sun 280

Vron and Willie 297

The Voices 510

From the Devastating Boys (1972)

The Devastating Boys 319

Tall Boy 339

In and Out the Houses 348

Flesh 361

Sisters 379

Hotel du Commerce 388

Miss A. and Miss M. 399

The Fly-paper 416

Published in Dangerous Calm: The Selected Stories of Elizabeth Taylor (1995)

Violet Hour at the Fleece 424

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