A Day in the Life of a Smiling Woman: Book summary and reviews of A Day in the Life of a Smiling Woman by Margaret Drabble

A Day in the Life of a Smiling Woman

Complete Short Stories

By Margaret Drabble

A Day in the Life of a Smiling Woman
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  • Published in USA  May 2011,
    256 pages.

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Book Summary

Margaret Drabble's novels have illuminated the past fifty years, especially the changing lives of women, like no others. Yet her short fiction has its own unique brilliance. Her penetrating evocations of character and place, her wide-ranging curiosity, her sense of irony - all are on display here, in stories that explore marriage, female friendships, the English tourist abroad, love affairs with houses, peace demonstrations, gin and tonics, cultural TV programs; in stories that are perceptive, sharp, and funny.

An introduction by the Spanish academic José Fernández places the stories in the context of her life and her novels. This collection is a wonderful recapitulation of a masterly career.

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Reviews

Media Reviews

"Starred Review. Readers will enjoy following the leitmotifs of Drabble's worlds while also recognizing the evolution of her craft and the choices or her heroines.... Often complex, usually unsettled, these women defy compartmentalization." - Publishers Weekly

"Starred Review. How profoundly Drabble understands pain and stoicism. She also has a mythic feel for landscape and the awe nature inspires, thus anchoring her masterfully drawn characters and their provocative dilemmas to the larger, living world in stories as piercing as they are dazzling." - Booklist

"These sharp and poignant stories will have broad appeal but will be especially nostalgic for readers who came of age in the heady dawn of feminism and who cut their literary teeth on the likes of Doris Lessing, Margaret Atwood, and Drabble herself." - Library Journal

"Smooth, reflective prose... Drabble's fans will savor these bite-sized examples of her humane intelligence." - Kirkus Reviews

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Author Information

Margaret Drabble Author Biography

Photo: Chester Higgins Jr

Margaret Drabble was born June 5, 1939 in Sheffield, Yorkshire, England.

She attended the Mount School, York, a Quaker boarding-school, and was awarded a major scholarship to Newnham College, Cambridge, where she read English and received double honors. After graduating from Cambridge University, she joined the Royal Shakespeare Company at Stratford.

In 1960 she married her first husband, actor Clive Swift, who is best known for his role in the 1990 BBC television comedy Keeping Up Appearances. They had three children in the 1960's and divorced in 1975.

She subsequently married the biographer Michael Holroyd in the early 1980's. They live in London and also have a house in Somerset.

Her novel The Millstone won the John Llewelyn Rhys Prize, and she was the recipient of a Society of ...

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