In Certain Circles
by Elizabeth Harrower
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Pub Date 29 Jan 2015 | Archive Date 26 Jan 2015
Text Publishing, Text Publishing Company
Harrower withdrew this novel before publication, and it has languished in a library for four decades.
stark, uncompromising drama of marital imprisonment and psychological
manipulation. In its atmosphere of dread and compulsion it has elements
of Daphne du Maurier’s Gothic suspense novels. But Ms. Harrower’s
fearsome objectivity and her bristling, beautiful prose come from
modernist masters like Katherine Mansfield and Elizabeth Bowen.’ Wall St
‘A brilliant achievement...Harrower can pierce your heart.’ Michael Dirda, Washington Post
‘Harrower’s psychological narrative can be as emotionally draining as the lives she describes. Her haunting and delicate writing provides stark contrast to the reality of her characters’ situations.’ Kirkus
‘Harrower’s writing is witty, desolate, truth-seeking, and complexly polished…An exceptionally subtle psychologist…[Her] five novels have an almost relentless thematic consistency and a strikingly similar darkness of vision...
[IN CERTAIN CIRCLES] belongs with her best work, with THE WATCH TOWER and THE LONG PROSPECT.’ James Wood, New Yorker
'Beautifully written, utterly hypnotic.' Eimear McBride on THE WATCH TOWER, a Book of the Year, Irish Times
'It left me with the strongest sense I have had for a very long time of the infinite preciousness of consciousness, at whatever cost, and of our terrifying human vulnerability.’ Salley Vickers, Sydney Morning Herald
'Evokes the waste and futility of a decadent class with all the bite and poignancy of F Scott Fitzgerald.' Eimear McBride
Ideal for reading groups. Reading group guide provided.
For fans of postwar literature, and for readers who enjoy complex characters and strong themes regarding the lives of women in families and at work.
Love and marriage are at the centre of this novel but it is the antithesis of a romance. Relationships, whether between lovers, spouses or familial, are shown as complex, ambivalent and sometimes cruel, rarely based on mutual understanding.
In Certain Circles dissects its characters, exposing their failings and analysing their behaviour and motivations.
It also examines class, cultural and political issues of its time, particularly as they affect women.
Praised around the globe and described by the WSJ as 'Like a treasure from an unearthed time capsule'.
Harrower was much admired by her contemporaries Patrick White and Christina Stead.
Author widely acclaimed as one of Australia's most important postwar writers.