It was Carrie Frye, former managing editor of idiosyncratic news website The Awl who set my feet on the path of righteousness when she described Barbara Pym’s work as “spinster drag novels” and instructed me to hold off on Crampton Hodnet until after I’d taken a crack at Excellent Women. I’d had a vague sense of Pym’s oeuvre before that, of course—I could conjure up dim pictures of a mid-century British woman standing in front of a kitchen sink, a This story is from Kinfolk Issue Twenty-Nine Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 45 Lisa Taddeo On writing the secret lives of women. Arts & Culture Issue 42 Torrey Peters The Detransition, Baby author is living her best life. Arts & Culture Issue 39 Nic Stone How can a young adult fiction author tackle racism, inequality and incarceration—but not rob teen readers of their optimism? Arts & Culture Issue 37 Anne Tyler The author of sprawling family dramas on her own epic half-century of writing. Arts & Culture Issue 35 Mieko Kawakami Meet the rising author who already longs for obsolescence. Arts & Culture Issue 34 Archive: Jackie Collins Sex “sold” for Jackie Collins, but it was the emotional honesty of her writing that kept readers hooked for almost half a century.