In Certain Circles

In Certain Circles

Book - 2014
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Perseus Publishing
‘Harrower was right about In Certain Circles being well written, but surely wrong to take its superb style for granted, as if mere literary muscle memory…The book belongs with her best work, with The Watch Tower and The Long Prospect…[It] is more explicit than Harrower’s earlier work about ideological tensions between men and women. It is also broader in scope and not as angry—wiser and less hopeless.’ James Wood, New Yorker

‘Like a treasure from an unearthed time capsule…Harrower is one of the great Australian writers of the postwar era...Harrower's fearsome objectivity and her bristling, beautiful prose come from modernist masters like Katherine Mansfield and Elizabeth Bowen…Zoe's struggle, her suffering, her hard-earned knowledge are sharp and alive. You feel the book must have been written last week rather than last century.’ Wall St Journal

'With its flavor of Henry James, Harrower's rediscovered story is an odd, brittle yet impressive piece of work that exposes the complex passions beneath a drawing-room-scenario surface.'Kirkus Reviews

‘Harrower’s prose is watchful, witty, unillusioned, exultant. Its healthful vitality – vivid, accurate, alive to irony – is a dashing stand against its subject matter: human perversity, so often squalid, senseless, swallowing all meaning. The reader marvels at its balance, its sinuousness, as each fresh wave hits….There is a note of elegy in all of Harrower’s work, even as the adrenaline flows, and a lyricism reminiscent of F.Scott Fitzgerald at his desperate best.’ Times Literary Supplement

In Certain Circles is the novel Elizabeth Harrower wrote after the release of The Watch Tower. The author withdrew this novel before publication in 1971, and it has languished in a library for four decades.

In Certain Circles is an intense psychological drama about family and love, tyranny, and freedom. Set amid the lush gardens and grand stone houses that line the north side of Sydney Harbour, it follows the lives of four unforgettable characters whose fates are intertwined.

Harrower is one of Australia's most important postwar writers. Never before published, In Certain Circles is one of the most anticipated releases of the season. Text's Classic edition of The Watch Tower has been reviewed in literary pages across the globe.

Elizabeth Harrower was born in Sydney in 1928. Her first novel, Down in the City, was published in 1957 and was followed by The Long Prospect (1958) and The Catherine Wheel (1960). Harrower published The Watch Tower in 1966. Four years later she finished In Certain Circles, but withdrew it before publication for reasons she has never publicly spoken of.

The long-lost final novel by the award-winning author of The Watch Tower. Never before published. Not to be missed!

Publisher: Melbourne, Victoria : Text Publishing Company, 2014
ISBN: 9781922182296
Branch Call Number: FIC HARROWER
Characteristics: 252 pages ;,22 cm


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Nov 29, 2016

This is the second book by Elizabeth Harrower I've read and I love this one too. As I am more toward the end of my life than the beginning, this novel about a group of people, a few marriages in Sydney, Australia was wonderful. I guess we all look back and see patterns we could not see in youth. The writing is clear, fast paced, delicious and deeply moving.

May 05, 2014

A great story of the subtle class divisions in Australia - but for all that I couldn't get into it. However this is more because I didn't like or 'get' her style of writing. I think perseverance would be worth it- but I had a better book to read.


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