Books: Blue Velvet Crampton Hodnet by Barbara Pym

by Barbara Pym; Dutton 216 pages; $14.95

Barbara Pym was the Cinderella of the previous literary decade. Having achieved a minor reputation in England during the '50s, she could not find a publisher in the '60s when London took to swinging. All that changed in 1977, three years before her death, when the Times Literary Supplement ran a feature on neglected writers. Philip Larkin and David Cecil, both authors of mighty clout, independently singled out Pym. Overnight, it seemed, her books were not only available but on the best-seller lists, and she had the kind of loyal following that usually requires years to build.

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