Angela Huth, an Underrated English Writer

“Monday Lunch in Fairyland and Other Stories” by Angela Huth  (1978) –  214 pages

9781906763022

 “Angela Huth writes with grace and high spirits about the hazards we face in continually falling in and out of love.  It appears we are helpless not to do so, in spite of husbands, wives, jobs, distance, self-doubt, and other difficulties.  Wittily, poignantly, Miss Huth lets us see that love can teach us nothing about itself except that it is indispensable.”     –   Brendan Gill

 A couple months ago I was pleasantly surprised when the audio book site Audible.com released eleven books of fiction by Angela Huth, all within a matter of a few weeks.  Since Angela Huth was already one of my favorite writers, that was great news to me.

Huth wrote the much praised novel “The Land Girls” about the young women who left the cities to work on English farms replacing all the farmers who went off to fight in World War II.   That novel is justly famous and was made into a well-received movie.  Soon I discovered that her other novels such as “Easy Silence” and “Wives of the Fishermen” were just as high quality as “Land Girls”  I also discovered that Angela Huth is also an excellent short story writer.  Thus among the eleven of her books now offered at Audible I chose “Monday Lunch in Fairyland and Other Stories”.

This book had an interesting publishing history.  It was first published in 1978 with the above title.  However the publisher decided to re-release it a year later with a different title.  This time the collection was titled “Infidelities”.  After all, this was the 1970s, and “Infidelities” was a very appropriate name for this collection.  Most of the stories in the collection deal with infidelity in one form or another.  The stories vary from the emotional to the ironic to the comic, and all the characters in the stories are engaging. On the Internet I discovered that Angela Huth was close friends with Princess Margaret, sister of Queen Elizabeth, who did have her own marital problems.

“There’s much to be said for recognising a friend’s plight but not dwelling on it.” – Angela Huth

If I were to pick one word to describe Huth’s writing, that word would be ‘vivacious’.  The word vivacious is “having much high-spirited energy and movement”.   There is a sparkling quality to her prose that makes it inherently interesting.  Huth makes her characters come poignantly alive, and she makes it seem almost effortless.  This effortless quality to her writing might be why she doesn’t get as much acclaim as other writers who are not nearly so talented.  This reminds me of the situation of the writer Elizabeth Taylor.  Taylor never did get the critical attention she deserved, yet during the last 15 years three of her novels have been made into movies.  The world is finally discovering Elizabeth Taylor the writer nearly forty years after her passing.

Angela_HuthAngela Huth is still writing, and I am eagerly awaiting her next fiction.   Discover this excellent fiction writer before everyone else does.

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2 responses to this post.

  1. I also very much like Angela Huth. I haven’t read her short stories, but I do have a couple of her books on my Nook. Some call her pop, I call her literary middlebrow, for lack of a better term.

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  2. Hi Kat,
    Angela Huth is fun to read, and I don’t think that’s a bad quality. The most damning thing I found about her is that film producers had her write a sequel to “The Land Girls’ called “Once a Land Girl’, and some of the real ex-Land Girls were offended because it was quite racy.

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