“It was the kind of question that starts a landslide in the mind.”

Pym croppedWhat was the question?  Was it profound?  Shocking?  Revealing? Turns out, it’s all of these, and it’s laced with British humor.  The question was, “Do we need a cup of tea?” This comes next: “She sounded puzzled and distressed and I began to realize that my question had struck at something deep and fundamental.”  Hence, the landslide. The author, Barbara Pym, called a twentieth-century Jane Austen, is one of my favorites.  Salon  describes her work as “a rare mixture of the humorous and the melancholy.” I have read her books so many times that they are finally falling apart.

Barbara Pym, Excellent Women (New York: Harper & Row, 1980), 227.


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