V. S. Pritchett

(1900—1997) writer and critic

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British writer and critic. He was knighted in 1975.

V. S. Pritchett was born in Ipswich and educated at Alleyn's School, London, and other schools. He then worked in the leather trade and various other businesses before becoming a newspaper correspondent in France in the 1920s. From there he moved to Spain, about which he wrote articles and travel books. He also began writing fiction, including Claire Drummer (1929), Elopement in Exile (1932), Nothing Like Leather (1935), Dead Man Leading (1937), and Mr Beluncle (1951). He was literary editor of the New Statesman and Nation for a time and afterwards continued his association with the journal, contributing a regular column and eventually becoming a director. His critical essays have been collected in several volumes – among them In My Good Books (1942), The Living Novel (1946), Books in General (1953), The Myth Makers (1979), and A Man of Letters (1985). His Complete Essays was published in 1991.

From the 1950s onwards, Pritchett fulfilled lecturing engagements at several US universities. He also delivered the Clark Lectures at Cambridge (1969). He wrote a large number of memorable short stories, collected in such volumes as The Camberwell Beauty (1974) and A Careless Widow and Other Stories (1989), and his Complete Short Stories appeared in 1990; in 1981 he edited the Oxford Book of Short Stories. Among his studies of other writers are George Meredith and English Comedy (1970) and biographies of Balzac (1973), Turgenev (1977), and Chekhov (1988). His two volumes of autobiography are A Cab at the Door (1968) and Midnight Oil (1971).

Subjects: Literature.

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