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

Manning, Olivia

novels maintain british trilogy

(British, 1908–80)

Manning led a precarious existence in 1930s’ London, writing romantic magazine fiction, before publishing her first novel in 1937. She married a British Council lecturer in 1939 who whirled her off to Bucharest. Her experiences there, and subsequent wartime wanderings, form the basis of her six most famous novels. The Balkan Trilogy (1960–5) is a portrait of her own marriage, set amongst expatriates in a Romania struggling to maintain independence as Nazism encroaches. It's long and largely uneventful, with a curiously inactive heroine, but Manning's readable prose, the gallery of eccentric characters, and unusual historical context maintain constant interest. The Levant Trilogy (1977–80) follows Harriet and Guy Pringle to the Middle East and vividly describes the desert war from the point of view of a young subaltern. Manning wrote seven other novels and two volumes of short stories.

Herman Wouk, Evelyn Waugh, Elizabeth Bowen. See HISTORICAL  MH

Mansfield, Katherine [next] [back] Mann, Thomas

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