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Harriet Said...: A Virago Modern Classic

Beryl Bainbridge

3 Reviews

Rated 0

Virago Modern Classics, Fiction, Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945), Classic fiction (pre c 1945)

The classic novel - the first she ever wrote - by acclaimed Man Booker Prize-winning author Beryl Bainbridge, HARRIET SAID... is a dark and gripping story of adolescent transgression set in a 1950s seaside resort.

A girl returns from boarding school to her sleepy Merseyside hometown and waits to be reunited with her childhood friend, Harriet, chief architect of all their past mischief. She roams listlessly along the shoreline and the woods still pitted with wartime trenches, and encounters 'the Tsar' - almost old, unhappily married, both dangerously fascinating and repulsive.

Pretty, malevolent Harriet finally arrives - and over the course of the long holidays draws her friend into a scheme to beguile then humiliate the Tsar, with disastrous, shocking consequences. A gripping portrayal of adolescent transgression, Beryl Bainbridge's classic first novel remains as subversive today as when it was written.

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Praise for Harriet Said...: A Virago Modern Classic

  • An extremely original and disconcerting story - Daily Telegraph

  • A sharp, chilling novel . . . The ending has real shock effect - Sunday Times

  • Compelling, horrifying, dramatic . . . [a] Molotov cocktail of teenage insecurity and dangerously partial understanding of maturity - Evening Standard

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Beryl Bainbridge

Beryl Bainbridge was one of the greatest living novelists. Author of seventeen novels, two travel books and five plays for stage and television, she was shortlisted for the Booker Prize five times, and won many literary awards including the Whitbread Prize and the Author of the Year Award at the British Book Awards. She died in July 2010.

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