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Elizabeth Bowen
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    (June 7, 1899-February 22, 1973)
    Born in Dublin, Ireland
    Wrote the novels ‘The Last September’ (1929), ‘The House in Paris’ (1935), ‘The Death of the Heart’ (1938), ‘The Heat of the Day’ (1949), ‘A World of Love’ (1955) and ‘Eva Trout’ (1968)
    Short story collections include ‘Encounters’ (1923), ‘The Cat Jumps and Other Stories’ (1934), ‘The Demon Lover and Other Stories’ (1945), ‘A Day in the Dark and Other Stories’ (1965) and ‘Elizabeth Bowen’s Irish Stories’ (1978)
    Wrote the children’s book ‘The Good Tiger’ (1965)
    She originally wanted to be an artist, but after taking art classes concluded that she would never be a really good painter.
    Her marriage to Alan Cameron was never consummated.
    She conducted a three-decade-long extramarital affair with Canadian diplomat Charles Ritchie.
    She was a heavy smoker, which probably contributed to the lung cancer that killed her.
    After her father suffered a mental breakdown (1907) and her mother died (1912), she was raised by ‘a committee of aunts’ whose homes she shuttled between.
    During World War II, she was an air raid warden in London and worked for the Ministry of Information, assessing public opinion about the Allies in Ireland.
    Ritchie wrote about her, ‘How can a woman of 40 with the air of don’s wife, how can such a woman have such a body?’
    She was a judge for the prestigious Man Booker Prize (1972).

Credit: C. Fishel

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