Novelist, short-story writer, and literary critic, L. P. Hartley won the James Tait Black Memorial Prize in 1947 for Eustace and Hilda. Part of a trilogy that offers a penetrating and disturbing psychological study of what Hartley called "sisteritis" in an upper-middle-class family, the three books were described by the London Times as "unique in modern writing...diverting and disturbing. Beneath a surface "almost overcivilized' the reviewer found "a hollow of horror."' One of Hartley's special interests is Henry James, with whom he has been compared. In The Tragic Comedians, James Hall devotes a chapter to Hartley, who is respected but not popular in Britain, read by few in America, but praised by discerning critics in both countries: "Along with Green and Powell, Hartley has changed the direction of the comic novel, raising even more seriously than they the question of whether it remains comic at all.... His freshness consists at first in simply changing the patterns of the naturalist novel from social insights to emotional ones; yet in doing so he departs from both the older solid way of conceiving character and the more recent fluid way of conceiving consciousness." David Cecil called The Go-Between (1953) "impressive," and wrote: "Hartley is for me the first of living novelists in certain important respects; beauty of style, lyrical quality of feeling and, above all, the power and originality of his imagination, which wonderfully mingles ironic comedy, whimsical fancy and a mysterious Hawthorne-like poetry." The Novelist's Responsibility is a collection of essays and letters.
Award-winning writer and literary critic Colm Tï¿½ibï¿½n was born in Enniscorthy, Ireland in 1955. He studied history and English at University College Dublin, earning his B.A. in 1975. After graduating he moved to Barcelona for three years and taught at the Dublin School of English. In 1978 Tï¿½ibï¿½n returned to Dublin and began working on an M.A. in Modern English and American Literature. He wrote for In Dublin, Hibernia, and The Sunday Tribune. Tï¿½ibï¿½n became the Features Editor of In Dublin in 1981, and then a year later accepted the position of Editor for the Irish current affairs magazine Magill. His first book, "Walking Along the Border," was published in 1987, and his first novel, "The South," debuted in 1990. Tï¿½ibï¿½n wrote for The Sunday Independent as a drama or television critic and political commentator. He has penned several more novels and a travel book, plus edited anthologies and a book of essays, created a play, and written regularly for The London Review of Books. Tï¿½ibï¿½n's second novel, "The Heather Blazing," received the 1993 Encore Award, and "The Master" achieved the 2006 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, the Los Angeles Times Novel of the Year, the Stonewall Book Award, and the Lambda Literary Award. Tï¿½ibï¿½n has been a visiting professor or lecturer at many American universities. In recognition of his contribution to contemporary Irish literature, he received the honorary degree of Doctor of Letters from the University of Ulster in 2008. He made The New York Times Best Seller List with his title Nora Webster.