Additional Book Information

Series: NYRB Classics
ISBN: 9781681371412
Pages: 208
Publication Date: October 17, 2017

Doting

by Henry Green, introduction by Michael Gorra

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Doting, the last of Henry Green’s novels, is, as its title would suggest, a story of yearning and lusting and aging in which a wife and a brash young woman run hilarious circles around a hapless hardworking civil servant suddenly seized by long-dormant urges. Like its immediate predecessor, Nothing, it stands out from the rest of Green’s work in its brilliant, experimental use of dialogue. Green was fascinated with the extravagance, ambiguity, absurdity, and unintentional implications and consequences of everyday human communication, and in Doting language slips and slides the better to reveal the absurdity and persistence of love and desire, exciting laughter while troubling the heart.

gorra green

Praise

The intelligence, the blazing gifts of imagery, dialogue, construction, and form, the power to feel both what can and what never can be said, give Henry Green’s work an intensity greater . . . than that of any other writer of imaginative fiction today. . . . His remains the most interesting and vital imagination in English fiction in our time.
—Eudora Welty

The sincere and almost religious conviction of the primacy of guilt in human relations is one of Green’s most fruitful sources of inspiration, and he forcefully develops it in Doting and Nothing, his last, great, and dismally underrated novels.
—Brooke Allen, The New Criterion

In all of [Green’s] novels we are made aware of the most profound and surprising truths about life, love and the human heart without being able to pinpoint any one page, line or moment of epiphany. To read [him] is to find oneself in the presence of rare genius, fit to sit along Woolf, Fitzgerald and Joyce on anyone’s shelf of classics. Henry Green is here to stay.
—David Wright, The Seattle Times

Mr. Green possesses perhaps the most accurate ear of any contemporary novelist.... Doting is a masterly exercise in technique.... It has some of the best moments of comedy Mr. Green has yet written.
The Times Literary Supplement

The formidable author...has set out to write a funny book in Doting, and he has succeeded.
—John Betjeman, The Daily Telegraph

Nothing and Doting...actually display something close to old-fashioned formal perfection.
—Charles McGrath, The New York Times Book Review

The sincere and almost religious conviction of the primacy of guilt in human relations is one of Green’s most fruitful sources of inspiration, and he forcefully develops it in Doting and Nothing, his last, great, and dismally underrated novels.
The New Criterion

A skillful intaglio of inconstancy which is pleasantly deft and devious.
Kirkus Reviews

And in their sheer absurdity Nothing and Doting are two of the funniest novels ever written, bringing to an almost abstract essence the humor that had always been woven through Green’s work.
The Atlantic