Novel on Yellow Paper (Paperback)

By Stevie Smith

New Directions, 9780811212397

Publication Date: June 17, 1994

List Price: 17.95*
* Individual store prices may vary.


Pompey Casmilus, Stevie Smith’s loquacious alter ego and heroine, works as a secretary and writes down on yellow office paper this wickedly amusing and brainy novel. “Dear Reader,” she addresses us politely, ironically, in the whirlwind of her opinions on death, sex, art. Greek tragedy, friendship, her Aunt, the magnificent “Lion of Hull,” marriage, Nazism, gossip, and the suburbs. But most of all Pompey talks about love: love for friends, love for Freddy––for Pompey is young and in love, but must she marry? Stevie Smith first tried to get her poems published in 1935, but she was told by a publisher to “go away and write a novel.” Novel on Yellow Paper, the happy result of this advice, made its author an instant celebrity and was acclaimed at the time as “a curious, amusing, provocative and very serious piece of work.” (The London Times Literary Supplement, 1936)

About the Author

Stevie Smith (1902-1971) was the author of three novels and nine poetry volumes and lived almost her whole life in northern London. She was officially recognized with the Cholmondeley Award for Poetry in 1966 and the Queen’s Gold Medal for poetry in 1969.

Praise For Novel on Yellow Paper

An artist of the utmost sophistication…Her pre-war novel Novel on Yellow Paper is an unforgettable work that has nevertheless needed to be rediscovered several times since the day it was first greeted, correctly, as a masterpiece.

— Clive James

Coverage from NPR