Stevie Smith: A Biography

Frances Spalding, Author W. W. Norton & Company $19.95 (331p) ISBN 978-0-393-02672-6
This study of English poet Florence Margaret ``Stevie'' Smith (1902-71) examines the close connections between the writer's humdrum yet tragic life and her quirky verse and personalized fiction. A publishing secretary for nearly 30 years (until she attempted suicide in 1953), Smith gained celebrity in 1936 with the publication of her mocking, gossipy soliloquy, Novel on Yellow Paper . Later she gained an even larger audience as a book reviewer and giver of talks on the BBC; many of her literary friends figure in her poetry. Although much of the book remains speculative, Spalding, biographer also of Whistler, Roger Fry and Vanessa Bell, offers fresh interpretations based on new information. Her sensitive analysis should help to broaden Smith's appeal. Illustrated. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/30/1989
Release date: 05/01/1989
Paperback - 331 pages - 978-0-7509-2860-1
Hardcover - 331 pages - 978-0-571-15207-0
Paperback - 978-0-393-30718-4
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