It’s Elizabeth Taylor’s 100th Birthday! And you could WIN …

Happy 100th Birthday, Elizabeth Taylor!

Photo credit: NYPL Digital Library

The big day is finally here.  We’ve been celebrating the Elizabeth Taylor Centenary all year, and there’s much more fun to come with our monthly readalongs.  But today, July 3, is the actual anniversary of her birth.  So let’s just pause for a moment and reflect on this talented author’s literary contributions.  Considered by many as one of the best English novelists of the 20th Century, she published 12 novels and 5 short story collections. One of her later works, Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont, was short-listed for the Booker Prize. She was a regular contributor to The New Yorker magazine.  Taylor had strong connections with other distinguished novelists, but led an intensely private life and was overshadowed by the famous actress with the same name.  Fortunately, her work appears to be gaining visibility again, due in no small part to events surrounding her centenary. Here are just two, both from BBC Radio 4:

And no birthday celebration would be complete without presents, right?  Here’s one for you:

Win a copy of Elizabeth Taylor’s Complete Short Stories

Thanks to the generous team at Virago Press, one lucky person will receive a copy of Elizabeth Taylor’s Complete Short Stories. This newly published volume includes 65 stories with a beautiful cover. More details here.

  • The giveaway contest is open until 5:00 PM (US EDT) on July 7, 2011.
  • The giveaway contest is open to anyone in the world.
  • To enter, please leave a comment answering the question:
    • What is your favorite Elizabeth Taylor novel, and why?
  • The winner will be chosen at random and announced on my blog. I will also notify the winner by email, and request a shipping address for the book.
  • Virago Press will ship the book to the address provided.

Good luck!!

Comments are welcome, even if you don’t want the book. Just let me know not enter your name into the drawing.

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17 thoughts on “It’s Elizabeth Taylor’s 100th Birthday! And you could WIN …

  1. Each time I’ve read a new Elizabeth Taylor novel, I’ve become more and more of a fan of her writing. However when I re-read Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont which was my first Taylor, I realised it was still my favourite. I think it’s because I love Mrs Palfrey in a way I haven’t loved any of Taylor’s other characters. Taylor often keeps us at a distance from her characters but she didn’t with Mrs Palfrey!

  2. So far, I’ve only read four of her novels but I think At Mrs Lippincote’s is my favourite so far. Perhaps because it was the first one I read it has a special pace in my heart.

  3. It is hard for me to pick one, but I think I have to go with my first Elizabeth Taylor because it made me not only seek out more of her books, but also seek out the rest of the Virago Modern Classics list. That would be Soul of Kindness. I am looking forward to rereading it this year to see if the heroine is as ghastly as I remember her!

  4. I must vote for Mrs. Palfrey, probably because I am quite sensitive these days to issues of aging, and that dear lady did it with such grace even under difficult circumstances.

  5. I haven’t read any because I would not be able to get any in this part of the world! I’d love to be counted in for the giveaway. Thank you for making it open to all. Much appreciated.

  6. Oh, it helps if you read the entire post. lol!~! I too, loved Mrs Palfrey at the Claremont but my favorite is probably A View of the Harbor. This book is about nothing and yet is fascinating. Just a view of the daily happenings in a harbor village. Beautifully written, as are all of Elizabeth Taylor’s works. So beautifully written, in fact, that one doesn’t even realize until at the end as one sits musing on the book, one suddenly is aware that there was no plot and it matters not one whit. E.T. is amazing.

  7. I’ve just loved, loved, LOVED Angel – a reread, I realised, when I had a horrendous flashback involving marbled exercise books and tortoiseshell combs, and full of such marvellous details and little side notes. The cats are wonderful (and I will be careful about allowing mine to sit on my hair in future) and she creates a monster who is oh-too-human at the same time.

  8. I think it’s ‘A Game of Hide and Seek’ probably because it was my first. I heard a Woman’s Hour serialisation in the early 80s (I think) and then borrowed it from the library. I got my nice green Virago in 1989.

  9. Haven’t read any of her work sadly, but the first I plan to read is ‘At Mrs. Lipponcotes’s’.

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