An unsparing look at a seedy seaside town and the sexual and emotional tensions that preoccupy its inhabitants. Beautifully observed, Taylor’s novel examines the lies and truths around which we build our lives. “Jane Austen, Elizabeth Taylor, Barbara Pym, Elizabeth Bowen—soul sisters all.” —Anne Tyler
An original selection of stories, many of which were first published in the New Yorker. “There is a deceptive smoothness in her tone … as in that of Evelyn Waugh … for in the work of both writers the funny and the appalling lie side by side in close amity.”—Kingsley Amis
Liar, fantasist, monster, writer: Taylors title character, who rises from working-class girl to wildly famous sentimental novelist, is all of these things. She is also Taylors greatest creation, a character who is terrible, poignantly sympathetic, and unforgettable.
Harriet comes of age between the wars. Shes not especially charming or attractive, but she has one passion in her life: Vesey. Nothing, not marriage to another man, or motherhood, will change that. Taylor is finally being recognised as an important British author: an author of great subtlety, great compassion and great depth.—Sarah Waters