Behind Paul Scott’s Raj Quartet: A Life in Letters: Volume I: The Early Years: 1940–1965

by Janis Haswell


“An important addition to the growing body of scholarship about a writer who lived for his art.” – Times Literary Supplement

"The letters continually illuminate details of his work as a novelist, his self-conscious and perceptive evaluations of his and others’ work, and the experiences that shaped his fiction ... the letters offer us a valuable biographical window onto Scott’s work methods and ideas, as well as the everyday life of a postwar English writer. Those interested in Scott, and in postwar fiction more broadly, will find much to appreciate in Janis Haswell’s admirably annotated volumes." – Transnational Literature

"Janis Haswell’s two-volume collection of Scott’s letters brings new and welcome insight into the man and the artist. Haswell, a professor of English at Texas A&M Corpus Christi, has excellent introductions to each section of letters, which provide indispensable context and background. ... Haswell has done much to perpetuate scholarly interest in Scott by publishing these two volumes." — Harvard Review (Read the entire review here)

"The larger part of Haswell’s first volume deals with Paul’s post-war life as a literary agent and a working novelist: the years when I knew him best. What strikes me now is how completely professional matters, and the correspondence dealing with them, occupied almost his entire waking life: even the lunches were literary, and almost all his friends were, one way or another, in the book trade. As everyone agreed, he was a brilliant agent, who took endless pains over his clients. Many of these letters deal with critical discussion of manuscripts, his own or those of others, which for those outside the charmed circle will make tough reading. (I suspect Haswell inserted so many of them for the benefit of English professors teaching Scott’s fiction.)..." — The New Republic (Read the entire article here)


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