Are you between 5 and 25? If so, enter the Wicked Young Writer Awards NOW - click here for details...

twitter make the most of Lovereading
Search our site
Last Letter from Istanbul by Lucy Foley Read the opening extract of the brand new Lucy Foley book before its publication on 19/03/2018

By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept by Elizabeth Smart
  

Lovereading view...

Told in prose poetry this short novel is based on the long standing affair between George Barker and Smart. If you are looking to go on an emotional rollercoaster then pick this up and have a read but be prepared to be wonderfully drained by the end.

March 2010 Guest Editor Susan Fletcher on By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept...

I'll never be able to say that I enjoyed this novel. But no other book has had such force to it, or stayed in mind for so long afterwards. It is a slim book - a novella, really - but it is packed with all the passion, fear and anguish that Smart felt during her long affair with the married poet George Barker. Her story is tragic and awesome. Their affair lasted for decades, and Smart bore Barker four children - but he never left his wife, who knew of the affair. Her language is extraordinary - too dense, in places, for me to understand, but there are also many lines or expressions which are unbearably tender, or which bite very hard. It is, in many ways, an exhausting read - but it makes this list for being so wild and emotionally charged. It's an unforgettable book.

Synopsis

By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept by Elizabeth Smart

Tells the story of passion between a man and two women, one of whom is his wife. From the author of "The Assumption of the Rogues and Rascals".

Reviews

`Like Madame Bovary blasted by lightening ... A masterpiece.
Angela Carter

`At some point every good reader comes across By Grand Central Station I sat Down and Wept . And he or she recognises an emotion essential and permanent to us.
Michael Ondaatje

`A revelation...This short, powerful work has a profound influence on me and was one of the factors that made me want to be a writer.
Beryl Bainbridge

`I doubt if there are more than half a dozen such masterpieces of poetic prose in the world.
Brigid Brophy

`Explores a passion between a man and two women, one of them his wife - a love despairing and triumphant upon which the reader may gaze, awed, appalled, or even, perhaps, envious.
The Times

`Few writers have ever captured the full honesty of what passion means as shockingly and as piercingly as Smart. Today, its force still strikes us hard in the face, a beautiful and bloody blow.
Lesley McDowell, Independent on Sunday

`Constructed as a single, sustained climax, it is like a cry of ecstasy which, without changing volume or pitch, becomes a cry of agony.
Spectator

`The emotion, the truth and abject affliction comes through...to move the reader, and even to awe him.
London Review of Books

About the Author

Elizabeth Smart was born in Ottawa, Canada, in 1913. She was educated at private schools in Canada and, for a year, at King's College, University of London. Her landmark work, By Grand Central Station I Sat Down and Wept was published in 1945. After the war she supported herself and her family through journalism and advertising work. In 1963 she became literary and associate editor of Queen magazine but subsequently dropped out of the literary scene to live quietly in a remote part of Suffolk. She died in 1986.

More books by this author
Author 'Like for Like' recommendations

Loading similar books...
Loading other formats...

Book Info

Publication date

19th November 1992

Author

Elizabeth Smart

More books by Elizabeth Smart
Author 'Like for Like'
    recommendations

Publisher

Flamingo an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers

Format

Paperback
160 pages

Categories

Literary Fiction
eBook Favourites

Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)

ISBN

9780586090398

Books of the month/debuts of the month, kids/adults, fiction/non-fiction, free prize draws and free extracts, what's not to love?

Emma Smith

Lovereading - a community of people passionate about reading and sharing their views. An incomparable website for book lovers.

Helen Clark

I recommend Lovereading because you get honest reviews on a whole range of genres-there's something for everyone. It's the only site I need.

Sian Spinney

It is a website dedicated to those who adore reading It really is a one stop shop for book lovers. Love it!

Edel Waugh

It's information about new books so, for a book lover like me, what's not to like!

Joan Hill

Insightful reader reviews and unbiased recommendations. I don't know how I chose books before Lovereading! An essential for all book lovers.

Sarah Harper

The best new books on the market, reviewed honestly, to give your readers the best choices.

Julie Cook

Its jam packed with fantastic titles, informative descriptions & fantastic reviews and has a vast array of great features & competitions.

Linda Rollins

Lovereading4kids

Lovereading4schools