Pritchett's first book described his journey across Spain, Marching Spain (1928) and Clare Drummer (1929) was about his experiences in Ireland.
Pritchett published five novels but he claimed not to enjoy their creation. His reputation was established by a collection of short stories (The Spanish Virgin and Other Stories, 1932).
During World War II, Pritchett worked for the BBC and the Ministry of Information while continuing to submit a weekly essay to the New Statesman. After the war he wrote widely and he started taking teaching positions at universities in the United States: Princeton (1953), the University of California (1962), Columbia University, and Smith College. He was fluent in German, Spanish, and French, and published successful biographies of Honoré de Balzac (1973), Ivan Turgenev (1977), and Anton Chekhov (1988), although he did not know Russian and had never visited the Soviet Union.
Pritchett was knighted in 1975 for his services to literature and became Companion of Honour in 1993. His awards include Heinemann Award (1969), PEN Award (1974), W.H. Smith Literary Award (1990), and Golden Pen Award (1993). He died of a stroke in London on 20 March 1997.
Dostoyevsky was one of those neurotics who recover their health and even their serenity when disaster at last occurs.