You'll Enjoy It When You Get There
New York Review Books
Elizabeth Taylor
“Pretty Good Fiesta”

“Pretty Good Fiesta” is from Elizabeth Taylor’s collected stories, YOU’LL ENJOY IT WHEN YOU GET THERE (New York Review Books, 2014), selected and introduced by Margaret Drabble.  Taylor (1912–1975) was born into a middle-class family in Berkshire, England. She held a variety of positions, including librarian and governess, before marrying a businessman in 1936. Nine years later, her first novel, At Mrs. Lippincote’s, appeared. She would go on to publish eleven more novels.


Taylor’s stories, many of which originally appeared in The New Yorker, are her central achievement.  In them you will find self-improving spinsters and gossiping girls, war orphans and wallflowers, honeymooners and barmaids, mistresses and murderers. Margaret Drabble’s new selection reveals a writer whose wide sympathies and restless curiosity are matched by a steely penetration into the human heart and mind.


Praise for the collection:


Taylor’s vulnerable characters are simultaneously touching and heartbreaking.

— Publishers Weekly starred review


The short story is a form in which Taylor, a gimlet-eyed miniaturist, fully exploited her talents.

— Benjamin Schwarz, The Atlantic


There is a deceptive smoothness in her tone, or tone of voice, as in that of Evelyn Waugh; not a far-fetched comparison, for in the work of both writers the funny and the appalling lie side by side in close amity.

— Kingsley Amis


Taylor’s stories, like her novels, are also filled with interesting and original ideas about life that are presented with almost no emphasis, ideas that other novelists would practically underscore and print in bold.

— Financial Times


In all the stories there is a peculiarly satisfying mixture of wit and generosity. Their human depth is such that they can be read again and again.

— Margaret Drabble

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