Barbara Pym

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Barbara Pym (2 June 1913 – 11 January 1980) was an English novelist. Most of her novels are known for their intertextuality.


  • The new curate seemed quite a nice young man, but what a pity it was that his combinations showed, tucked carelessly into his socks, when he sat down.
    • Some Tame Gazelle (1950), chapter 1, opening sentence
  • Oh, but it was splendid the things women were doing for men all the time, thought Jane. Making them feel, perhaps sometimes by no more than a casual glance, that they were loved and admired and desired when they were worthy of none of these things – enabling them to preen themselves and puff out their plumage like birds and bask in the sunshine of love, real or imagined, it didn't matter which.
    • Jane and Prudence (1953), chapter 7
  • The small things of life were often so much bigger than the great things, she decided, wondering how many writers and philosophers had said this before her, the trivial pleasures like cooking, one's home, little poems especially sad ones, solitary walks, funny things seen and overheard.
    • Less than Angels (1955), chapter 9

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