I discovered Barbara Pym in the later 1990s by virtue of a bookgroup which chose Quartet in Autumn as its monthly read. It wasn’t the book itself that encouraged me to tramp to the public library for a copy; it was the enthusiasm of the group members overall for this woman’s work, the flurry of chatter about these stories, these characters.
Now, of course, it seems impossible that I ever had not heard of her, that I could have knelt down to the shelf to run my fingertips across the row of William-Morris-ish-covered hardbacks without a certain fondness. I don’t recall if I started to read Quartet immediately, but I do recall that, when I had started (and had, very shortly thereafter, finished), I knew that I would be (and, indeed, was) revisiting that shelf often. The next one I chose was No Fond Return of Love (seduced by the first sentence) but after that I descended into what I affectionately recall as the Great Pym-Blur. Yum.