Completists' Club discussion

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Authors A-D > Elizabeth Bowen

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message 1: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl | 123 comments Novels

The Hotel (1927)
The Last September (1929)
Friends and Relations (1931)
To the North (1932)
The House in Paris (1935)
The Death of the Heart (1938)
The Heat of the Day (1949)
A World of Love (1955)
The Little Girls (1964)
Eva Trout (1968)

Short Stories and Collections

Encounters (1923)
Ann Lee's and Other Stories (1926)
Joining Charles and Other Stories (1929)
The Cat Jumps and Other Stories (1934)
"The Easter Egg Party" (1938) in The London Mercury
Look At All Those Roses (1941)
The Demon Lover and Other Stories (1945)
Ivy Gripped the Steps and Other Stories (1946, USA)
Stories by Elizabeth Bowen (1959)
A Day in the Dark and Other Stories (1965)
The Good Tiger (1965, children's book) - illustrated by M. Nebel (1965 edition) and Quentin Blake (1970 edition)
Elizabeth Bowen’s Irish Stories (1978)
The Collected Stories of Elizabeth Bowen (1980)
The Bazaar and Other Stories (2008) - edited by Allan Hepburn

Non-fiction books

Bowen's Court (1942, 1964)
Seven Winters: Memories of a Dublin Childhood (1942)
English Novelists (1942)
Anthony Trollope: A New Judgement (1946)
Why Do I Write?: An Exchange of Views between Elizabeth Bowen, Graham Greene and V.S. Pritchett (1948)
Collected Impressions (1950)
The Shelbourne (1951)
A Time in Rome (1960)
Afterthought: Pieces About Writing (1962)
Pictures and Conversations (1975) - edited by Spencer Curtis Brown
The Mulberry Tree: Writings of Elizabeth Bowen (1999) - edited by Hermione Lee
"Notes On Éire": Espionage Reports to Winston Churchill by Elizabeth Bowen, 1940-1942 (2008) - edited by Jack Lane and Brendan Clifford
People, Places, Things: Essays by Elizabeth Bowen (2008) - edited by Allan Hepburn
Love's Civil War: Elizabeth Bowen and Charles Ritchie: Letters and Diaries, 1941-1973 (2009) - edited by Victoria Glendinning and Judith Robertson
Listening In: Broadcasts, Speeches, and Interviews by Elizabeth Bowen (2010) - edited by Allan Hepburn
Elizabeth Bowen's Selected Irish Writings (2011) - edited by Éibhear Walshe


message 2: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) | 296 comments Oh good! Bowen is someone I've been wanting to read more of...


message 3: by Cecily (new)

Cecily | 31 comments I now realise I've only read about half of her novels. :-(


message 4: by Lisa (new)

Lisa | 5 comments Whoa, I just noticed this page. I've only read four of her novels so far, but I own five others. To be read at leisure! I have the Collected Stories, of which I've read a few...will have to see what is and is not included in that volume. Elizabeth Bowen is always worthwhile, in my opinion.


message 5: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl | 123 comments I've now read The House in Paris and it was just as good as The Death of the Heart. So I've read two Bowen novels, bitches. Try to top that. Uh huh.


message 6: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) | 296 comments It's possible I have both of those novels in my house and have read neither. Must correct that.


message 7: by Mariel (new)

Mariel (fuchsiagroan) I read most of the novels, but not the rest. If rereads counted I would place her high on my "most read".


message 8: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) | 296 comments I am doing something I rarely do, which is read the biography of a writer before I've read much of her fiction. I guess this is because the bio., by Victoria Glendinning--a battered Avon Books paperback--has been sitting on my shelf for some time now, picked up at who knows what book sale. At the same time, one or two of Bowen's novels have been sitting on my book shelf as well...for years. Why is it that I still haven't read Bowen? When so many (I respect) have praised her? So, perhaps to remedy this deficit, I picked up her bio. a few days ago and am now almost halfway through. I guess I thought by reading it, I'd get a better sense of her and her fiction and be ready to read at least one of her novels. Which I think will be the case.


message 9: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) | 296 comments For those of you who are Bowen fans, which is your favorite novel? and which would you recommend I start with? your favorite or another?


message 10: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) | 296 comments Unbelievable. My local library, which generally has a very good collection, has not one book by Elizabeth Bowen. Not one.


message 11: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl | 123 comments Jessica wrote: "For those of you who are Bowen fans, which is your favorite novel? and which would you recommend I start with? your favorite or another?"

I've only read two, but I really liked both of them. I read Death of the Heart first, then The House in Paris.


message 12: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl | 123 comments Jessica wrote: "Unbelievable. My local library, which generally has a very good collection, has not one book by Elizabeth Bowen. Not one."

That's just sad.


message 13: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl | 123 comments If you read The House in Paris, there's an interesting discussion of it over in the Constant Reader group. Don't read beforehand unless you welcome spoilers.


message 14: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) | 296 comments Thanks. It's also killing me because I know for a fact I owned a copy of The House in Paris, I can picture where it was on my bookshelf... but I cannot find it anywhere. I did find a copy elsewhere of The Little Girls, but I hadn't wanted to start with that one.


message 15: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) | 296 comments my review of her bio. here, in case of interest:

http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...


message 16: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl | 123 comments I read my third Bowen and loathed it! The Little Girls. I forced myself to read the whole thing. Now I'm trying to find published reviews to figure out what happened, literally (the plot is so inscrutable).

Has anyone else read it, and what did they think of it? And WTF occurred?


message 17: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) | 296 comments oh dear. I own the book but haven't read it. wow, disappointing!


message 18: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl | 123 comments Some people loved it, though. Critics are among those people.


message 19: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) | 296 comments well I haven't read it because I didn't want to start with this one, was afraid I might not like it as much as her others. Found it on a discard shelf. and my library does not carry her titles, unbelievably.


message 20: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl | 123 comments There are some books by Anglo-Irish women that are near unreadable for me. This was one, Parents and Children by Ivy Compton-Burnett was another, A Severed Head by Iris Murdoch. Forced myself to finish all of them. I don't know what it is, something in the water of that time period perhaps.


message 21: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl | 123 comments Jessica wrote: "well I haven't read it because I didn't want to start with this one, was afraid I might not like it as much as her others. Found it on a discard shelf. and my library does not carry her titles, unb..."

That was wise, read Death of the Heart first. If my first novel by an author turns out to be something I loathe, I find it almost impossible to grant a second chance. I hate being tortured.


message 22: by Jessica (new)

Jessica (jesstrea) | 296 comments yes, that's the one I want to read.


message 23: by Carla (new)

Carla (cjsarett) | 83 comments I tried The Little Girls by Bowen, and gave up....maybe I'll try another.


message 24: by Lisa (new)

Lisa | 5 comments I don't really recommend A World of Love either...reverberations from the past don't jar much of anything. Though if you're a completist, you must, of course! My favorite so far is To the North, despite some heavy melodramatic moments.


message 25: by Carla (new)

Carla (cjsarett) | 83 comments I seem to recall that Bowen's prose was labored and her characters too abstract to be engaging. But maybe my memory fails me.


message 26: by Cecily (new)

Cecily | 31 comments Lobstergirl wrote: "...This was one, Parents and Children by Ivy Compton-Burnett was another, A Severed Head by Iris Murdoch. ..."

IC-B is so stylised, she's a tricky read, but I've read a couple (including that one) and quite enjoyed them. I'm in no rush to read more, though.

Iris Murdoch is entirely different for me, and I though The Severed Head was a brilliant book.


message 27: by Carla (new)

Carla (cjsarett) | 83 comments I think I've read all of Iris Murdoch -- I agree, she's a page turner kind of writer, brilliant themes and writing. Ivy Compton-Burnett writes, as Oscar Wilde said of another writer, "as if writing were a painful duty."


message 28: by Lobstergirl (new)

Lobstergirl | 123 comments Cecily wrote: "Ivy Compton-Burnett is so stylised, she's a tricky read"

Yes, I felt that as well. And The Little Girls was written in such a mannered way, both the dialogue and everything else, it was like it was written in code. Instead of reading, I felt like I was decoding, and it was highly irritating. Yet I didn't feel it was modernist, it wasn't tricky in that way. Nor was it complicated in a rococo way. It was just....mannered. Literary mannerism.


message 29: by Elizabeth (Alaska) (last edited Sep 08, 2013 07:57AM) (new)

Elizabeth (Alaska) | 57 comments I have read only The Heat of the Day, which I enjoyed. I hope to read more, but won't be a completist.


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