One of the most penetrating and sympathetic explorations ever undertaken by one writer into the mind of another, Prancing Novelist is far more than a simple tribute or work of research. In these pages–by turns instructive, mischievous, and even gossipy–Brigid Brophy seeks nothing less than a vindication of the eternal liveliness of fiction itself against the persistent rumors that it is dying or dead. Though serious in intent, Prancing Novelist is not only a monument to Firbank, but is also a delightful showcase for Brophy’s own uproarious prose, not to mention her genius for telling good stories.
“Atheist, vegetarian, socialist; novelist and short-story writer; humanist; biographer; playwright . . . most loyal of friends; reverer of Jane Austen; lover of Italy; Mozart adorer … smoker of cigarettes in a chic holder and painter of her fingernails purple; mother, grandmother, wife; feminist; lover of men and women; Brigid Brophy was above all an intellectual, which British (although she was Irish) authors aren’t supposed to be.” —Giles Gorden, The Independent