Bowen, Elizabeth (bōˈĭn) [key], 1899–1973, Anglo-Irish novelist, b. Dublin. In impeccable prose she treated love and frustration through studies of complex psychological relationships. Her novels include The Hotel (1927), To the North (1932), The House in Paris (1936), The Death of the Heart (1938), and The Heat of the Day (1949). In her last three novels— A World of Love (1955), Two Little Girls (1964), and Eva Trout; or, Changing Scenes (1968)—Bowen was less concerned with rendering reality than with exploring truths best expressed in myth or parable. Look at All Those Roses (1941), Ivy Gripped the Steps (1946), and A Day in the Dark and Other Stories (1965) are volumes of short stories. Nonfiction works include Bowen's Court (1942), on her ancestral home; The Shelbourne Hotel (1951); and Seven Winters; and Afterthoughts (1962), a collection of childhood memories and literary studies. Pictures and Conversations (1975) is a collection of miscellaneous writings, including portions of a novel and autobiography left unfinished at Bowen's death.
See biographies by E. J. Kenney (1975), V. Glendinning (1978), P. Craig (1987), and N. Corcoran (2005); studies by H. Blodgett (1975), H. Bloom, ed. (1987), A. E. Austin (rev. ed. 1989), P. Lassner (1991), A. Bennett and N. Royle (1994), R. C. Hoogland (1994), L. Christensen (2001), and M. Ellmann (2003).
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