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Dalkey Archive Press first introduced readers to this best-kept secret of British literature with the hardback Collected Writings of Olive Moore in 1992. Spleen, the best of the author's three novels, tells the disturbing story of a woman who goes into self-imposed exile to an island off the coast of Italy after giving birth to a deformed child. Filled with self-reproach and guilt about her son and her life (having yearned to give birth to something new and rare, she blames herself for her son's deformity), Ruth broods on what it means to be a woman ( nature's oven for nature's bun ) and the inequalities between the sexes. Filled with the colors and beauty of the Italian countryside and in a style similar to Virginia Woolf's, Spleen challenges the assumption that women can't help but be tender and maternal, that their heads are only ever-enlarging hearts.