T. F. Powys

T. F. Powys

T. F. Powys (1875–1953), “grimly brilliant” (John Carey, The Sunday Times), a novelist and short-story writer, belonged to a remarkable literary family (John Cowper Powys was his brother). He rarely left home or traveled by car, claimed to love monotony, and “never gave so much as a sunflower-seed for the busy, practical life.”


Death has come to the small village of Dodder to deliver a parchment with the names of two local mortals and the fatal word unclay upon it. When he loses the precious sheet, he is free of his errand. Hungry to taste the sweet fruits of human life, Mr. John Death, as he is now known, takes a holiday in Dorsetshire and rests from his reaping. The village basks in summer loveliness but teems with all the old sins (lust, avarice, greed)—as well as loving-kindness.…
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Calling to mind Swift, Twain, Austen, and Jerome K. Jerome, Powys manages masterfully to cover the spectrum of human failings, from petty to vile, with insight and humor. A delightful entertainment with a wit too rarely seen now in fiction.

Kirkus (starred)

Heretical, scandalous, and mocking, but essentially parables.

—Jorge Luis Borges
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