Page 65 - PB Cat 1999-2021
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The Woman Novelist and Other Stories DIANA GARDNER
This is a new selection of Diana Gardner’s 1940s short stories.There are fifteen of them and they are very different one from the other, yet all the stories – with titles such as ‘The House at Hove’, ‘The Land Girl’, ‘The Summer Holiday’, ‘The Woman Novelist’, ‘The Pirate’, and ‘Summer with the Baron’ – share a characteristically sharp, sardonic quality.
But Diana Gardner always eschewed the obviously feminine. Several of the stories in The Woman Novelist are about women behaving badly, and many of them make slightly uncomfortable read- ing; all are acutely observant. Although Diana Gardner was a successful painter, and wrote a novel, the short story was her forte. In the Spectator the critic Walter Allen said: ‘She writes very well indeed; her observation is precise, she has a keen eye for colour, and she knows the value of understatement.’ And the Manchester Guardian reviewer thought that she excelled ‘in a distinct- ively modern medium in which the poetry and the prose of life, the fantastic and the factual, give spirit and substance to each other.’
The endpaper is based on an untitled fabric design in potato prints and paint on sugar paper by Alma Ramsey-Hosking which she did in c. 1942
Diana Gardner by Mervyn Peake, 1937, in a private collection
 NO 64
 168pp PERSEPHONE BOOKS IISBN 9781903155547

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