In the photo at right, Paul Newman reads THE GARRICK YEAR, a 1964 novel by British author Margaret Drabble. Written when she was 24, a member of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and married to an actor, THE GARRICK YEAR is an insider’s account of a young woman’s life in the theater.

I don’t know if Newman’s face expresses an “Oh, those Brits” reaction to the book or if he’s just squinting in the sun. (Where are your sunglasses, Paul?) Also don’t know if this shot was taken on a movie set or while Newman was racing one of his cars. (It was probably snapped on the set of the 1967 movie COOL HAND LUKE, since Newman looks as if he’s dressed for a chain gang.)


In 2009, Roger Angell wrote a “Summer Reading” piece in the New Yorker where he discussed his love for THE GARRICK YEAR (he rereads the book each summer) — and why he thinks it’s the prolific Drabble’s most “alive” novel. Read Angell’s article here.

Find THE GARRICK YEAR by Margaret Drabble at

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Margaret Drabble is the author of 17 novels, including The Sea Lady, The Seven Sisters, The Peppered Moth, and The Needle’s Eye. She has written biographies of Arnold Bennett and Angus Wilson, and is the editor of the fifth and sixth editions of The Oxford Companion to English Literature. For her contributions to contemporary English literature, she was made a Dame of the British Empire in 2008.