Praise for Felicity and Barbara Pym
"A splendid book! Original, controversial, academic, readable, serious, light-hearted, sensible, charming..." - Hazel Holt, Literary Executor of the Barbara Pym Estate, author of Barbara Pym’s biography, A Lot to Ask: A Life of Barbara Pym and editor (with Hilary Pym) of Barbara Pym’s unpublished work, Civil to Strangers and Other Writings; leading crime novelist, best known for her 20 “Mrs Malory” books and her recent epistolary novel, My Dear Charlotte, based on Jane Austen’s letters. [Hazel Holt has written the foreword to the book from which this extract is taken.]
"It should be mandatory reading for all undergraduate students of English Literature; no American students of English Literature should be allowed to set foot upon campus without having proved that they have read it..." - Peter Miles, Emeritus Fellow of the English Association.
"Dryden, a great writer as well as a great critic, created a work of art about works of art. Harrison Solow, in her incisive and delightful study of the novels of Barbara Pym has accomplished a similar feat." - Mayo Simon, New York playwright, writer of Academy Award winning film, Why Man Creates, lecturer in drama and film writing at Columbia University and California Institute of the Arts, author of The Audience & The Playwright, Applause Theatre & Cinema Books, 2005.
“A terrific piece of writing - I would order it for all first year and second year English students.” - Dr. Thomas Strychacz, Full Professor, Former Dean of Letters, Chair, English Department, Mills College, Former Lecturer at Princeton University, Author of Modernism, Mass Culture, and Professionalism, Cambridge University Press, 1993.
“…A fantastic combination of solid scholarship and genuinely arresting narrative. It's a great book and is the heir to the best kind of scholarly writing, i.e. Trilling, that was once appreciated by a literate, general public, as opposed to the indecipherable, navel-gazing garbage that hack Ph.D.'s churn out by the ton these days...These ruminations offer unexpected insights that would escape a more mundane critic... a dazzling performance and it fills me with the most exquisite professional envy!" - Thomas Vinciguerra, Deputy Editor of The Week, New York; Contributing Writer, The New York Times.
"... a dramatic monologue which reveals how a life spent reading and thinking about literature has directed consciousness and informed the content of the thinking mind...A fascinating, intriguing presentation, which demands a sequel." - Christopher Terry, PhD, Examiner for Cambridge University, Scholar at Downing College Cambridge, reviewer for the Times Higher Education Supplement, author of The Ogre of Downing Castle, Revisited: Recollections of Dr F. R. Leavis and Morris Shapira, Libertas Publishing, 2009.
"Harrison Solow seamlessly weaves form and content to create an engrossing hybrid work: epistolary novel cum memoir cum literary critique cum advice column...Masterfully done." - Heather Hughes, Assistant Editor, Harvard University Press.
“One of Waldo Williams' great phrases ... is "What is living? Having a great hall between narrow walls " - cael neuadd fawr rhwng cyfyng furiau. There is no way to render the elegance of cynghanedd in English - beautiful scansion in blank verse sometimes hints at it. He says he got the idea from visiting a small chapel in Pembrokeshire, which was larger inside than it was outside. That, I suspect, is what your book is, another universe in, if not a grain of sand, then 170 or so pages.” ~ Prof. Dorian Llywelyn, Loyola University
“I do not know if I can do it justice, but one first impression is that on one level it is a new or different way to write a critical study of an author and her culture. The preliminary reading that Mallory gives to Felicity is like the first chapter of a critical study that sets the context. Some of the questions from Felicity are the 'problems' that the critic seeks to address. In a way, it turns the genre of the critical monograph inside-out. But this is only one level of interest or meaning. The reflections on literature and society are compelling in a way that takes me back to Northrop Frye's lectures at Toronto when I was an undergraduate, and here I am thinking of some of his public lectures not his made-for-students lectures. This was a dimension to Frye that did not often appear in his critical writing, but he had a strong sense of the social and political relevance of literature and the importance of 'the educated imagination'.”
Dr. William Marx, FRHistS, Reader (Professor) of English, University of Wales.
Causes Harrison Solow Supports
Lupus Foundation of America
Museum of Tolerance