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‘If you’re coming to Lurie for the first time, you must begin with the Pulitzer Prize-winning Foreign Affairs’ Guardian
Vinnie Miner is an American professor of children’s literature on her way to London for six months of research. Settling into her aeroplane seat she finds herself accosted by Chuck, a brash engineer wearing cowboy boots. She never imagines she’ll see him again. But wet, windy London turns out to be the setting for fresh beginnings, and for Vinnie, a place to take up space, breathe the air, and to refuse to become a minor character in one’s own life.
Foreign Affairs is a comic, heart-wrenching masterpiece of unexpected romance.
WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY AMANDA CRAIG
Jenny has devoted her life to her husband, the famous naturalist Wilkie Walker. But this year, as winter comes on, Wilkie seems distant and depressed. In desperation Jenny persuades him to visit Key West, but the sun and tropical scenery do nothing to cheer him up. As he grows even stranger, Jenny becomes involved with some intriguing local characters including Gerry, an ex-beatnik poet, and Lee, the dramatically attractive manager of a women-only guest house.
Wife, secretary, confidante, housekeeper - might Jenny at last break free from her role as Wilkie's support act?
WITH A NEW PREFACE FROM ALISON LURIE
'Full of sparkish - indeed Muriel Sparkish - observations and gently subversive wit... Lurie beautifully handles the ecstatic liberation of lesbian love' Independent
'Delightful... Her characters are, as always, wonderfully imperfect' New York Review of Books
Alan has changed because he's injured his back. Pain has altered his appearance and made him glum, demanding and resentful. His wife Jane has to do everything for him - fetching, carrying, shopping, cooking, even dressing and undressing him. Sometimes she longs for escape.
Delia is a writer and researcher specialising in fairy tales - she is, in her own estimation, a 'Great Artist'. Her husband, Henry, manages her every need making certain Delia gets everything she desires including spectacular doses of adulation.
Can Delia coax Alan out of his grumpiness? Can Henry stop Jane feeling guilty? Can the two couples break out of their fixed roles?
'I am re-reading with enormous delight and greed. If you're new to [Lurie], lucky you: marvellously astute comedies of social, moral and sexual manners, her witty exuberance is nothing short of inspirational' Helen Simpson
This engaging new collection of essays from the New York Times–bestselling novelist gathers together her reflections on the writing life; fond recollections of inspiring friends; and perceptive, playful commentary on preoccupations ranging from children’s literature to fashion and feminism.
Citing her husband’s comment to her that “Nobody asked you to write a novel,” Lurie goes on to eloquently explain why there was never another choice for her. She looks back on attending Radcliffe in the 1940s—an era of wartime rations and a wall of sexism where it was understood that Harvard was only for the men.
From offering a gleeful glimpse into Jonathan Miller’s production of Hamlet to memorializing mentors and intimate friends such as poet James Merrill, illustrator Edward Gorey, and New York Times Book Review coeditor Barbara Epstein, Lurie celebrates the creative artists who encouraged and inspired her.
A lifelong devotee of children’s literature, she suggests saying no to Narnia, revisits the phenomenon of Harry Potter, and tells the truth about the ultimate good bad boy, Pinocchio.
Returning to a favorite subject, fashion, Lurie explores the symbolic meaning of aprons, enthuses on how the zipper made dressing and undressing faster—and sexier—and tells how, feeling abandoned by Vogue at age sixty, she finally found herself freed from fashion’s restrictions on women.
Always spirited no matter the subject, Lurie ultimately conveys a joie de vivre that comes from a lifetime of never abandoning her “childish impulse to play with words, to reimagine the world.”