George Gissing's best-known novel shows us the literary underbelly of Victorian England, and the writers striving to forge their reputations in 'the street of no shame'.
‘As a study in the pathology of the literary life it is unequalled, and still surprisingly relevant’ David Lodge, Independent
Grub Street - where would-be writers aim high, publishers plumb the depths and literature is a trade, never a calling. In a literary world disfigured by greed and explotation, two very different writers rise and fall: Edward Reardon, a novelist whose high standards prevent him from pandering to the common taste, and Jasper Milvain, who possesses no such scruples. Gissing's dark and darkly funny novel presents a little-seen but richly absorbing slice of nineteeth-century society.
WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY ANTHONY QUINN
New Grub Street...remains to this day the most devastating fictive portrayal of the conflict between materialism and idealism in the literary and journalistic worlds
It is George Gissing's triumph, in New Grub Street to have written a novel about writing for a living which is as graphic, as realistic and as dispiriting in its way as anything written by Emile Zola on the plight of coalminers
New Grub Street is not a very cheerful book, but as a study in the pathology of the literary life it is unequalled, and still surprisingly relevant
At his best Gissing is a very subtle psychologist, and his best scenes emerge out of a painstaking unravelling of human motivation... His work has a kind of integrity, a sort of emotional jaggedness, sufficient to set it apart from most of the comfortable productions of the late-Victorian reading-room
New Grub Street has an ominously up-to-date air