Jill is Philip Larkin’s first novel and a classic of its time, in which the poet’s astute insight into character, emotion and social nuance plays out over the length of a novel in a rich, poetic prose.
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‘It will, I hope, still qualify for the indulgence traditionally extended to juvenilia,’ wrote Philip Larkin, almost twenty years after the publication of his first novel. But Jill, with its exact evocation of place – Oxford in 1940 – and astute insight into character, emotions and social nuance, requires no such indulgence. It is a classic of its time, and shows many of the qualities that were later to distinguish Larkin’s great, mature poetry.
‘Jill is, in a sense, a kind of cryptic manifesto. It is a novel about writing, about discovering a literary personality, and about the sorts of consolation that art can provide.’ Andrew Motion
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