Other Free Encyclopedias » Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern Fiction » Books & Authors: Award-Winning Fiction (Ke-Ma)

Lehmann, Rosamond (Nina)

olivia follows novel curtis

(British, 1901–90)

Lehmann was born and brought up in Bourne End, Buckinghamshire. Her first novel, Dusty Answer (1927), was published just after she left Cambridge, and was hugely popular. The novel follows the developing relationship between a girl and her cousins next door. Her most famous work, Invitation to the Waltz (1932), concerns two sisters, Olivia and Kate Curtis. It opens on the morning of Olivia's seventeenth birthday and follows the events up to her momentous first dance, where we experience the night with her. The novel is not simply an acute observation of Edwardian middle-class life; Lehmann's understanding of the female journey into adulthood is powerful and immediate. The sequel, The Weather in the Streets (1936) follows the goings-on of the Curtis family, focusing on Olivia. It caused a public controversy when first published because it deals with topics such as unwanted pregnancy and abortion. Lehman's writing is poignant, atmospheric, vividly evocative of its period, and deeply romantic.

Virginia Woolf. See SEXUAL POLITICS  CJ

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