Three Wednesdays in March via Zoom, beginning on March 10th. 7:00pm to 8:00pm. (copy of book included)
“Perhaps there can be too much making of cups of tea, I thought, as I watched Miss Statham filling the heavy teapot. Did we really need a cup of tea? I even said as much to Miss Statham and she looked at me with a hurt, almost angry look, 'Do we need tea? she echoed. 'But Miss Lathbury...' She sounded puzzled and distressed and I began to realise that my question had struck at something deep and fundamental. It was the kind of question that starts a landslide in the mind. I mumbled something about making a joke and that of course one needed tea always, at every hour of the day or night.”
In recent years, Barbara Pym has gone from a novelist with a passionately devoted cult following to a generally-acknowledged master of the form. And 1952's Excellent Women is the author in all her glory: very funny, wryly observant and deeply humane. This story of self-described spinster Mildred Lathbury making her genteel way in post-war London is the Pym novel a new reader will be told to start with; it's also one that repays endless rereading. Join writer, critic (and Pym Society member) Sadie Stein over three weeks as we read a novel that's rich in small pleasures and truly great prose.