A Girl in Winter

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First edition (UK)

A Girl in Winter is a novel by Philip Larkin, first published in 1947 by Faber and Faber.[1] It was published in the USA in 1962 by St Martin's Press.[2]


The main character in the novel (the "girl" of the title) is Katherine Lind, a library assistant. The action is condensed into a twelve-hour period in which she has to leave work to escort a colleague who has been taken ill. The incident results indirectly in her realisation that she no longer cares for Robin, an old love interest she had as a teenager.

Larkin himself stated that he had originally intended to write further novels, but he published no more fiction after A Girl in Winter, possibly because of a shortage of material on which to draw for inspiration.[3] John Osborne called it "the most underestimated work in the Larkin canon" and "a harbinger of greatness".[4]

The book was adapted for radio and broadcast on BBC Radio Four in 2013,[5] along with an adaptation of Larkin's first novel, Jill.


  1. ^ Carol Rumens, "Winter reads: A Girl in Winter by Philip Larkin", The Guardian, 20 December 2011. Accessed 22 November 2013
  2. ^ Joyce Carol Oates, "From the Stacks: “A Girl in Winter”", New Republic, 20 November 1976. Accessed 22 November 2013
  3. ^ Clive James, "Philip Larkin - Smaller and Clearer", New Statesman, 21 March 1975 Archived 26 February 2018 at the Wayback Machine Accessed 22 November 2013
  4. ^ Philip Larkin Society, "Reclaiming Ambiguity" by James L. Orwin, 2009. Archived January 24, 2010, at the Wayback Machine Accessed 22 November 2013
  5. ^ BBC Radio 4 - Classic Serial Accessed 22 November 2013