Barbara Pym: Quartet in Autumn — Reading progress update: 99 of 186 Pages

Is this the fate that would have awaited Pym’s heroine from Excellent Women, Mildred Lathbury, if she had decided upon permanent “spinsterhood”?

So quintessentially late 1970s — cheap drabness (the cityscape and office life mirroring the four protagonists’s personal lives), occasionally contrasted with and punctuated by the visceral shocks of the psychedelic age.  Pym (1913-1980) quite obviously more than empathized with her protagonists — but unlike other writers born before WWI and still publishing books in the 1970s (looking at you, Dame Agatha and Ms Marsh), she seems to also have looked upon the concerns and attitudes of the representatives of younger generations with quite a fair amount of sympathy.

Now that the two female protagonists have retired (and I’m about halfway through the book), it seems a good moment to take a break.  I wonder how Pym is going to keep the “quartet” together, though — the office so far having provided their only, albeit persistent, point of contact.  I guess I’ll be finding out tomorrow!

 

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