Mid-Century Modern: English Women Writers from 1945 to 1960


Falling between the monumental experimental writers of English high modernism (D.H. Lawrence, Virginia Woolf) and the writers who again disrupted the novel form with an injection of feminism (Fay Weldon, Angela Carter), four midcentury writers— Ivy Compton-Burnett, Nancy Mitford, Barbara Comyns, and Barbara Pym—tend to be overlooked by the academic and literary communities. Belonging to no particular artistic movement, their critically acclaimed books—insouciant, ingenuous, ruthless, or tolerant—deserve to be appreciated by a wider audience. To this end, the course will reintroduce these writers as masters of style and keen observers of the status quo.


Required reading: Ivy Compton-Burnett, Manservant and Maidservant,  ISBN 978-0940322639; Nancy Mitford, The Pursuit of Love, ISBN 978-0307740816; Barbara Comyns, The Vet’s Daughter, ISBN 978-1590170298; Barbara Pym, Excellent Women, ISBN 978-0143104872.

About the Instructor

Charisse Gendron holds a PhD in English literature from the University of Connecticut and formerly taught in the English Department and Women’s Studies program at Middle Tennessee State University. Currently, she lives in Portland and teaches at OLLI and Midcoast Senior College.


Charisse Gendron
Email: gendroncharisse@gmail.com


9:30-11:00 a.m.
8-week course
Begins September 15, 2022


On Zoom