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Pack My Bag: A Self-Portrait Hardcover – May 1, 1993

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Green, the late British writer (1905-1973) whose quirky novels, laced with incessant dialogue and swirling descriptions, earned him the regard of exacting stylists like John Updike but only a marginal place in the 20th-century canon, is suddenly in vogue. Compared to the heady concoctions of his novels-- Loving, Living, Party Going etc.--this "mid-term autobiography" (as Green's son Sebastian Yorke calls it in his fine introduction) is rather weak tea. Still, for Green aficionados, these recollections will have to do until a biography comes around. As a novelist, Green was known for his aesthetic immersion in the sounds of his characters. Similarly, Pack My Bag has a studied indifference to the personal--rare in autobiography, but somehow appropriate for Green. Written on the eve of WW II, the book conveys a poignant gloom. In the second half, after Green concludes the presentation of his childhood and school years, he talks more about his own writing. Of particular interest is his comparison of several attempts--over a five-year period--to render a certain mood in prose. Clearly evident is Green's peculiar, wayward genius.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

In this 1940 title, British novelist Green offers a mid-life portrait that describes his unusual dual existence as both a popular writer and as engineer Henry Vincent Yorke.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 242 pages
  • Publisher: New Directions Publishing Corporation; Reprint edition (May 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0811212343
  • ISBN-13: 978-0811212342
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.7 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,538,059 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

25 of 26 people found the following review helpful By College Professor on June 25, 2004
Format: Paperback
A paraphrase of this memoir would give the sense that 'Henry Green' was a typical British writer of the 1930s: a superposh old Etonian who precociously published his first novel at Oxford, and was driven by class guilt to work as a foundryman. Or, in his words, 'as was said in those days I had a complex and in the end it drove me to go to work in a factory with my wet podgy hands'. The prose style is what makes this book an absolute one-off - chatty, cleverly idiomatic, bathetic, loveable and self-effacing. 'Pack my Bag' isn't a book you'd read for the plot (unless you're interested in the faux-hardships of wealthy, hypersensitive schoolboys?), but its account of the Great War is full of compelling anecdotes (like the shellshocked soldier who stayed at the country estate of Green's parents - 'no longer human when he came to us'). If you like these subtle-ish modernist writers like Katherine Mansfield and Elizabeth Bowen you might fall for Green, as sophisticated a stylist as any of the big modernist names (Woolf, Lawrence etc), but with an intimacy and sweetness that you don't necessarily associate with experimental writing. And he's funny, too. No wonder the people who love Henry Green really, really love Henry Green.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
quick delivery. can't wait to read.,
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Scott Vaughn on August 4, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
product as described. fast shipping. a++++++
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Debra Monroe on July 28, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am a Henry Green completist. I am wild about his novels. So I expected to like this, and I'm enough of an egghead not to bore easily. I also love history and biography and autobiography. But it's not at all compelling. He wrote it because he assumed he'd die in the war. He didn't die in the war. The most interesting part of his life and his most mature observations were yet to come. He hadn't really lived yet. This book is full of typically adolescent introspection: all molehills, no mountains.
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