Alison Lurie

Love and friendship; Real people; Foreign affairs

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Santrauka: Love and friendship: Faculty wife Emily Stockwell Turner is beautiful, rich, and principled. However, five years in a marriage devoid of passion and virtuosity is enough to propel Emmy, despite herself, into an affair with cocky, silver-tongued Will Thomas, a music instructor at Convers College and a self-confessed libertine. A fire, a student riot, academic struggles and scandals, and some amateur witchcraft all form a backdrop to the lover's transgression.But there are very few secrets that can remain intact on a small New England campus--and the shocking, unforseen consequences of their affair will effectively shatter Emmy's most cherished, long held delusions about friendship, romance, and the ties that bind. A perfect subject for Alison Lurie's acute powers of observation and cosmic sophistication, "Love and Friendship" is a candid distillation of both purities and impurities of human nature. Real people:"Are those artists, Mom, or are they real people?" asks a child visiting Illyria, a luxurious retreat for successful and not-so-successful writers, painters, and musicians. On the first day of her stay, Janet Smith likens Illyria to heaven--and its guests to gods or angels. But before long, she is comparing them to children, madmen, and demons. "Dazzlingly comic. . . . a superb piece of ironic portraiture".--THE LONDON TIMES. Foreign affairs:WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE Virginia Miner, a fifty-something, unmarried tenured professor, is in London to work on her new book about children’s folk rhymes. Despite carrying a U.S. passport, Vinnie feels essentially English and rather looks down on her fellow Americans. But in spite of that, she is drawn into a mortifying and oddly satisfying affair with an Oklahoman tourist who dresses more Bronco Billy than Beau Brummel. Also in London is Vinnie’s colleague Fred Turner, a handsome, flat broke, newly separated, and thoroughly miserable young man trying to focus on his own research. Instead, he is distracted by a beautiful and unpredictable English actress and the world she belongs to. Both American, both abroad, and both achingly lonely, Vinnie and Fred play out their confused alienation and dizzying romantic liaisons in Alison Lurie’s Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. Smartly written, poignant, and witty, Foreign Affairs remains an enduring comic masterpiece.

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