The Pritchett Century by V.S. Pritchett
(Modern Library)

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Synopsis

"If, as they say, I am a Man of Letters, I come, like my fellows, at the tail-end of a long and once esteemed tradition in English and American writing. We have no captive audience. We do not teach. We write to be readable and to engage the interest of what Virginia Woolf called 'the common reader.'"
    In a life that spanned almost the entire course of the twentieth century--he was born in 1900 and died in 1997--Sir Victor Pritchett mastered nearly every form of literature: the novel, short fiction, travel writing, biography, criticism, and memoir. Now, Sir Victor's son Oliver has selected representative samples to illustrate the tremendous scope of his father's brilliance. Included in this volume are sections of Pritchett's memoirs, A Cab at the Door and Midnight Oil; his reflections on turning eighty; and an account of a visit to the Appalachians written in 1925. There are also portraits of Dublin, New York, the Amazon, and Spain; selections from the novels Dead Man Leading and Mr. Beluncle; thirteen complete short stories; excerpts from biographies of Turgenev and Chekhov; and critical pieces on Twain, Scott, Dickens, Eliot, Henry James, Tolstoy, Saul Bellow, Salman Rushdie, and others.
    "Pritchett has lived as a man of letters must, by his pen, and he has done it with a freshness of interest and an infectious curiosity that have never waned," observed novelist Mar- garet Drabble. Taken together with Oliver Pritchett's appreciation of his father, and John Bayley's "In Memoriam," The Pritchett Century stands as the most comprehensive collection of Sir Victor's work available in one volume.
The Modern Library has played a significant role in American cultural life for the better part of a century. The series was founded in 1917 by the publishers Boni and Liveright and eight years later acquired by Bennett Cerf and Donald Klopfer. It provided the foun-dation for their next publishing venture, Random House. The Modern Library has been a staple of the American book trade, providing readers with affordable hard-bound editions of important works of liter-ature and thought. For the Modern Library's seventy-fifth anniversary, Random House redesigned the series, restoring as its emblem the running torchbearer created by Lucian Bernhard in 1925 and refurbishing jackets, bindings, and type, as well as inau-gurating a new program of selecting titles. The Modern Library continues to provide the world's best books, at the best prices.


From the Hardcover edition.
 

About V.S. Pritchett

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Born in Ipswich and educated at Alleyn's School, Dulwich, and Dulwich College, novelist and critic V. S. Pritchett worked in the leather trade and later as a commercial traveler and shop assistant. After World War II, he was literary editor of the New Statesman and Nation and has frequently contributed to American periodicals and the N.Y. Times Book Review. He is a distinguished short story writer who has often appeared in the New Yorker. Pritchett has also collaborated with the photographer Evelyn Hofer on three charming and excellent portraits of London, New York, and Dublin. Pritchett, who has been lauded for his fine literary criticism, has also written about many other writers. He received numerous awards including the 1969 Heinemann Award, the 1974 PEN Award, the 1990 W. H. Smith Literary Award, and the 1993 Golden Pen Award. He died from a stroke on March 20, 1997.
 
Published March 5, 2009 by Modern Library. 738 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Non-fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Pritchett Century

Publishers Weekly

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The 82 stories here cover the length and depth of the celebrated British author's career.

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Publishers Weekly

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Pritchett, who died this year, felt ""vain"" about being born in 1900, ""at every birthday thinking of myself as pretty well as old as the century."" This memorial omnibus edition (sensitively culled by his son, Oliver) includes essays and short stories, as well as excerpts from Pritchett's novel...

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