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Nya (Oxford paperbacks)

Stephen Haggard; Contributor-Frank Kermode

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ISBN 10: 0192821350 / ISBN 13: 9780192821355
Published by Oxford University Press, USA, 1989
Used Condition: Used: Good Soft cover
From Ergodebooks (RICHMOND, TX, U.S.A.)

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Bibliographic Details

Title: Nya (Oxford paperbacks)

Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA

Publication Date: 1989

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition:Used: Good

About this title


A gifted young actor and writer who worked in Intelligence during World War II and died prematurely in 1943, Stephen Haggard published his first novel, Nya, in 1938 at the age of 27.
Frank Kermode, the eminent British literary scholar and Professor Emeritus at the University of Cambridge, has rediscovered this long-lost novel and has provided a new introduction. It tells the story of a love affair between a man in his mid-twenties and a thirteen-year-old girl who, having spent a carefree childhood in Nyasaland, returns to England for "an English training." Hovering at the threshold between latency and adolescence, Nya represents the noble savage who has experienced a "natural" upbringing. Simon, with whom she falls in love, comes from the same British middle-class background as the aunt and uncle who take in Nya. The poignancy of the story does not stem from the impossibility of their love, nor from the violation of the child by the man, but, rather, it lies in the chastity of the lovers. Although theirs is a passionate love, she does not lose her innocence. Unlike Lolita, which it somewhat foreshadows, Nya attempts in a serious and interesting fashion to reconcile passion with respect for normal conduct, while still portraying authentic passion. The cultural context for such a revolt has changed drastically in the intervening half-century, but the ancient argument between nature and custom, treated in this novel, continues today.

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