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In Certain Circles : Longlisted for the 2015 Miles Franklin Award - Elizabeth Harrower

In Certain Circles

Longlisted for the 2015 Miles Franklin Award

By: Elizabeth Harrower

Hardcover | 23 April 2014 | Edition Number 2

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‘Harrower was right about In Certain Circles being well written, but surely wrong to take its superb style for granted, as if mere literary muscle memory…The book belongs with her best work, with The Watch Tower and The Long Prospect…[It] is more explicit than Harrower’s earlier work about ideological tensions between men and women. It is also broader in scope and not as angry—wiser and less hopeless.’ James Wood, New Yorker

‘Like a treasure from an unearthed time capsule…Harrower is one of the great Australian writers of the postwar era...Harrower's fearsome objectivity and her bristling, beautiful prose come from modernist masters like Katherine Mansfield and Elizabeth Bowen…Zoe's struggle, her suffering, her hard-earned knowledge are sharp and alive. You feel the book must have been written last week rather than last century.’ Wall St Journal

'With its flavor of Henry James, Harrower's rediscovered story is an odd, brittle yet impressive piece of work that exposes the complex passions beneath a drawing-room-scenario surface.'Kirkus Reviews

‘Harrower’s prose is watchful, witty, unillusioned, exultant. Its healthful vitality – vivid, accurate, alive to irony – is a dashing stand against its subject matter: human perversity, so often squalid, senseless, swallowing all meaning. The reader marvels at its balance, its sinuousness, as each fresh wave hits….There is a note of elegy in all of Harrower’s work, even as the adrenaline flows, and a lyricism reminiscent of F.Scott Fitzgerald at his desperate best.’ Times Literary Supplement

In Certain Circles is the novel Elizabeth Harrower wrote after the release of The Watch Tower

. The author withdrew this novel before publication in 1971, and it has languished in a library for four decades.

In Certain Circles is an intense psychological drama about family and love, tyranny, and freedom. Set amid the lush gardens and grand stone houses that line the north side of Sydney Harbour, it follows the lives of four unforgettable characters whose fates are intertwined.

Harrower is one of Australia's most important postwar writers. Never before published, In Certain Circles is one of the most anticipated releases of the season. Text's Classic edition of The Watch Tower has been reviewed in literary pages across the globe.

Elizabeth Harrower was born in Sydney in 1928. Her first novel, Down in the City, was published in 1957 and was followed by The Long Prospect (1958) and The Catherine Wheel (1960). Harrower published The Watch Tower in 1966. Four years later she finished In Certain Circles, but withdrew it before publication for reasons she has never publicly spoken of.


Industry Reviews
'Harrower can pierce your heart.' * Michael Dirda, Washington Post *
`A scandalously overlooked writer.' * Michelle de Kretser *
`A coup...weirdly thrilling line by line...[its] dense and adult conversation crackles with a sense of moral urgency.' -- Delia Falconer * Australian *
`Utterly hypnotic.' * Eimear McBride, Irish Times *
`She is brilliant on power, isolation and class.' * Ramona Koval, Australian *
'Her insights into the nature of love, the role of women and the torsions of power in even the most ordinary relationship are bitter and sometimes cruel, wielded in the way that acute honesty may be, like a whip. Yet they are always delivered via the honeyed dipper of her prose.' -- Geordie Williamson * Monthly *
'A novel of astonishing psychological insight exploring the darker aspects of human attraction.' * Saturday Paper *
'An exploration of the psychologies of entitlement and deprivation in the context of love.' Book of the Week * Adelaide Advertiser *
'Reading In Certain Circles gave me the thrill that only comes from the work of a major novelist.' -- The Conversation
'In Certain Circles is subtle yet wounding, and very much alive.' * Guardian *
'A brilliant exploration of relationships, marriage, thwarted passion and the beauty and the price of love.' * Herald Sun *
'There are many wonderful things in this novel. Harrower's skill in evoking a place is impressive. Her eye for oddities of behaviour, for quirks of character and for patches of pretentiousness is as sure as ever. The wry intelligence of her view of middle-class Australian life is evident throughout. Her writing is characteristically sharp and pithy. Whatever the reason behind her decision not to allow this novel to be released four decades ago, its rebirth is an event to be celebrated.' -- Andrew Riemer * SMH/Age/Canberra Times *
'With its flavor of Henry James, Harrower's rediscovered story is an odd, brittle yet impressive piece of work that exposes the complex passions beneath a drawing-room-scenario surface.' * Kirkus Reviews *
'A 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 Street Journal *
`Harrower was right about In Certain Circles being well written, but surely wrong to take its superb style for granted, as if mere literary muscle memory. Like the rest of her work, the novel is severely achieved: the coolly exact prose cannot be distinguished from the ashen exhaustion of its tragic fires...The book belongs with her best work, with The Watch Tower and The Long Prospect...[It] is more explicit than Harrower's earlier work about ideological tensions between men and women. It is also broader in scope and not as angry-wiser and less hopeless.' -- James Wood * New Yorker *
`Harrower evokes the waste and futility of a decadent class with all the bite and poignancy of F. Scott Fitzgerald.' -- Eimear McBride * New Statesman *
`In Certain Circles [is] a pin-sharp psychological drama about two pairs of siblings, set on the shores of Sydney Harbour. Harrower's searing, spare prose is breathtaking, as is her depiction of dashed promise and the gulf beween the sexes.' -- Di Speirs, BBC Radio Books Editor
'Intensely psychological...exquisitely chiselled prose.' * North and South *
'For me, the great discovery of 2014 was the work of Elizabeth Harrower.' * Favourite Books of 2014, New Yorker *
'Elizabeth Harrower's unpublished In Certain Circles finally gets its moment in the sun, and it's been well worth the wait.' * Australian Financial Review *
'Harrower's prose is watchful, witty, unillusioned, exultant. Its healthful vitality-vivid, accurate, alive to irony-is a dashing stand against its subject matter: human perversity, so often squalid, senseless, swallowing all meaning.' * Times Literary Supplement *
'An exquisitely crafted story about the impact of love, class and privilege on the quest for personal fulfilment.' * Lady *
'In this screw-turning, chilling study of a suburban sadist, all the elements of Harrower's oeuvre - fairytale, existentialism, human wasters and willing victims -come together with the perfect inevitability that makes a classic.' * Weekend Australian *
'A novelist who deserves as wide an audience as possible.' * Sunday Age *
'There is a note of elegy in all of Harrower's work, even as the adrenaline flows, and a lyricism reminiscent of F. Scott Fitzgerald at his desperate best.' * Times Literary Supplement *
`This magnificently sad and funny novel about two sets of brothers and sisters was released for the first time in 2015 and is the best skewering of life between the sexes since Mary McCarthy's The Group.' * Boston Globe, Best Books of 2015 *

Other Books By Elizabeth Harrower

The Watch Tower : Collectors Edition : Introduction by Joan London - Elizabeth Harrower
A Few Days in the Country : And Other Stories - Elizabeth Harrower

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The Watch Tower : Text Classics - Elizabeth Harrower

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Down in the City : Text Classics - Elizabeth Harrower

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The Long Prospect : Text Classics - Elizabeth Harrower

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In Certain Circles : Longlisted for the 2015 Miles Franklin Award - Elizabeth Harrower
In Certain Circles : Longlisted for the 2015 Miles Franklin Award - Elizabeth Harrower
The Catherine Wheel : The Text Classics - Elizabeth Harrower

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