Stevie Smith: Novel on Yellow Paper

(996 words)
  • William May (University of Southern California)

In 1935, Stevie Smith received yet another rejected batch of poems back from a publisher's only to be told to go away and write a novel. Novel on Yellow Paper (1936) was the result, published by Jonathan Cape the following year. Allegedly written in a dream state in under ten weeks, the book was an immediate critical and commercial success. On publication, it prompted a flurry of newspaper and magazine articles speculating as to the identity of the mysterious Stevie Smith, and even inspired a letter from the British poet Robert Nichols to Virginia Woolf congratulating her on a novel he had assumed she had written under a pseudonym. The novel is in fact very unlike Virginia Woolf, although it carries the influence of stream-of-…

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May, William. "Novel on Yellow Paper". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 18 September 2006
[, accessed 01 December 2015.]