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Green, Henry

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionBooks & Authors: Award-Winning Fiction (Fl-Ha)

(British, 1905–73)

Henry Green was rather deaf, and conversations often seemed rather surreal to him as he half-heard much of what people said. This delighted him, and he uses a similar effect in his writing. Things do not quite connect; his dialogue is full of near-misses as people misunderstand, mishear, or simply do not listen. Many of his novels are satires and they are full of small gaps in logic or sequence which the reader has to fill. Green is a master at telling stories in which nothing seems to happen, yet one is constantly intrigued and entertained. Start with Party Going (1939), set in a railway station in which a group of young people never quite sets off on a journey. This contains some of Green's finest comic writing. Blindness (1926) is an unsentimental story about a boy who is blinded and turns to writing. Doting (1952) is told almost entirely in dialogue and is a masterly and slightly nasty social comedy.

Elizabeth Bowen, Ford Madox Ford, Evelyn Waugh. See SOCIAL ISSUES  TT

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