My nomination would go to Olivia Manning, who experienced something of a revival in the late 1980s when The Balkan Trilogy and The Levant Trilogy, a suite of novels set during the Second World War, were dramatised by the BBC. But I’m not sure how widely she is read now — and certainly her other books, such as The Doves of Venus and The Rain Forest, are rarely mentioned. I love her work for its toughness and its unsentimentality, and she excelled at creating heroines who always seemed to be cast to the sidelines by circumstances or their own personal diffidence.
Posted on 20th October 2010
Fiction Uncovered by… Alex Clark, journalist
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