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Surviving: The Uncollected Writings of Henry Green Hardcover – February 1, 1993

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Under the pseudonym Henry Green, businessman Henry V. Yorke (1905-1973) wrote 10 distinguished Symbolist novels in the period from 1926 to 1952. (In February Penguin will reissue six of them, including his major work, Loving , in its Twentieth-Century Classics series.) Green's strength was to cluster seeming trivia in image patterns redolent with meaning; and in Doting and Concluding , he treated sex in uncommonly modern and matter-of-fact terms. For the current volume, Green's grandson has assembled published, unpublished and rejected pieces; synopses and drafts of embryonic work; reviews, and polished jottings. Green's unfinished Mood recalls the world of Virginia Woolf, and there is a review of Woolf's Writer's Diary . In "Excursion" he creates a microcosmic knot of people at a train station, anticipating his novel Party Going. Pieces on the art of fiction include a two-part BBC talk, "A Novelist to His Readers," which reveals the importance Green placed on dialogue. Essays about the fire squad on which Green served in the WW II blitz ("A Rescue," "Before the Great Fire") parallel the topic of his novel Caught. His work for American magazines include "Falling in Love," written for Esquire (he was aggrieved not to be paid for it) and "Invocation to Venice" for Vogue . Among the rejects are a TV drama "Journey Out of Spain" (too long, they said), and "The Jealous Man," turned down by New Yorker editors who promised to keep in mind Green's interest in "books by dead authors." The collection sheds light on the publishing scene in Green's day and adeptly serves the cause of English letters. A memoir by his son closes the volume.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Green, whose real name was Henry Yorke, was a successful businessman and reasonably successful novelist from the 1920s to the 1950s--an author of the type called a "writer's writer." Admired by the likes of Burgess, Welty, and Updike (whose introduction is one of the assets here), Green was sometimes experimental (e.g., he suppressed articles for immediacy of sensation), sometimes lucidly straightforward. Included here are some fables, some rejected short stories, a rather tepid play, a fascinating collaborative interview with Terry Southern (for Paris Review in 1958), and sundry short pieces. Green's novels, of which Loving (1949) is probably the most famous, are about to be reissued by Penguin, but even so mass demand for this title is not likely. Surviving is for true Green enthusiasts or very writerly writers and is therefore appropriate only for very large public and academic libraries.
- Robert E. Brown, Onondaga Cty. P.L., Syracuse, N.Y.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Viking Adult; 1st American ed edition (February 1, 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670804762
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670804764
  • Product Dimensions: 20 x 20 x 20 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,295,859 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Michael P. McCullough on January 26, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Henry Green is often said to be a "writer's writer," and Terry Southern even said Green was a "writer's writer's writer" (very clever!).

Well, this is a book specifically for writers, I believe. This collection has many examples of Green's prose in its more experimental, work in progress (ie. rejected / unpublished) forms - which I found fascinating. In addition to that there are essays and interviews wherein Green specifically teaches us about the details of writing - the use and importance of dialogue, for example. Some sections of this book seem like writing lessons by the master. So this informative book boils down to treatise on the craft and theory of writing.

Having read this collection immediately after finishing his biography (*Romancing: The Life and Work of Henry Green,* Jeremy Treglown) I feel filled to the brim with Henry Green and need to start reading the Green novels I haven't yet read.

This book is highly recommended for writers who love Green's books, not necessarily for readers who simply loved *Party Going* and *Living* who have no aspirations to write.
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