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© William Sansom Estate 2017

London. All rights reserved.

Goodbye

1966

Hogarth Press

Cover Design by Sally Egan

All is moderately lovely in Anthony Lyle's London garden - and then the sky falls in. 

His wife Zoe says she si going to leave him. They have weathered a fair few rows during their married life, but this time Zoe seems strangely determined. Lyle's gradual realisatino of her determination, her refusal to give him a real reason, his total inability to understand wy, and his wilder and wilder attempts to regain her sympathy - all these form the core of a story which moves by ruthless degrees from comedy to something very different indeed. 

Goodbye is the most accomplished novel Mr Sansom has given us. The physical descriptions are more brilliant than ever. The quirks and predicaments of Anthonye's neighbours salt and richen the tale; while the hour-to-hour experiences of a harmless man struck by emotional lightning, and of the wife who intends to leave that very next Friday, are formidable in their truth and intensityas events mount towards the final draamtic solution. 

Or is it a solution?

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Goodbye was made into a BBC play in 1975 - Read more

Goodbye takes its place as William Sansom's finest achievement, and as a contemporary masterpiece of domestic tragedy. 

The New American Library

 
William Sansom contrives to put himself on terms of genial familiarity with his reader from his very first page. His writing is crips, deft, sly, his humour casual and beguiling, and he persuades us that nothing could be more natural than the story he has to tell.

 

The Times


Scored with such accuracy of feeling as well as detail, and suffused by so much comedy, that it is one of the author's warmest, most engaging essays.

Widely different as these stories are in theme and setting, they have two qualities in common which bind them into an unmistakable whole. They are stories with a tenseness of plot, a beginning and an end, and with curious undertones of meaning. And they are brilliantly observed from the unusual angle and written with the delight in supple, disciplined English, that stamp Mr Sansom as one of our most distinguished writers. 

Anne Duchene