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Very good. Appearance of only slight previous use. Cover and binding show a little wear. All pages are undamaged with potentially only a few, small markings. Help save a tree. Buy all your used books from Thriftbooks. Read. Recycle and Reuse.
For anyone interested in the writer Mary McCarthy or in the literary period she made herself famous in, this book will be fascinating. The details are to the point, numerous but not so as to clog the story of her quite eventful life. In short, it is well and competently written.
Publishers Weekly, 2000-02-07 In an autobiographical short story by McCarthy, a psychiatrist tells the heroine, "Let me suggest to you... that this ordeal of your childhood has been the controlling factor of your life." In 1918, when she was six, McCarthy's parents died in the flu epidemic then sweeping the U.S. With her siblings, she was raised by a loveless aunt and uncle; these interconnected events became the core of her remarkable Memories of a Catholic Girlhood. The brilliant savagery of her best criticism and fiction has its roots in that defining experience, prodigiously recreated by Kiernan, a former fiction editor at the New Yorker. After Vassar and the Depression (both figure in her notorious novel The Group), McCarthy joined what Kiernan calls "the increasingly acrimonious and contentious world of New York intellectuals," writing for the new Partisan Review and sleeping with its editors and writers. She had four marriages (with Edmund Wilson, among others) and many affairs, and, as a diplomat's wife, lived abroad, largely self-exiled from the milieu that fed her mordant satire. Kiernan uses a biographical device of setting off from her narrative blocks of quotation from interviewees so that in many places the book reads like oral history, a technique that sometimes works, but adds hundreds of loosely integrated pages. How McCarthy used real life in her fiction, she once explained, was to "take real plums and put them in an imaginary cake." Kiernan applies the method too generously, overstocking her book with myriad details. Yet it evokes a fascinating portrait of a woman with "great personal glamour" and "ferocious intelligence." 16 pages of photos not seen by PW. (Mar.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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