With disarming candor, Judith Grossman reveals what it was like before abortions were available . . . only yesterday.
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When this first novel begins, Irene Tanner is on her way to have an abortion; when it ends, the job is done. Irene's flashback contemplation of her childhood, adolescence and her years at Oxford comprise the rest of this skillfully written, beautifully controlled narrative. Genteelly poor, her father a soldier in WW II, her mother stiffly coping, Irene is the maverick second of four South London children. She clings to her mother, hoping to be singled out from her siblings for an extra portion of love, but she is rarely rewarded. The recipient of a scholarship to Oxford, there, too, she remains outcast until the all-male society of poets discovers her and introduces her to Roger, a history major, uncommitted and ready to initiate her into the art of making love. The book is a fierce but never polemical indictment of social mores and class differences; its expressive dialogue expertly conveys the unquestioning stolidity of Irene's farmer grandparents on the one hand and the brittle intellectual pomposity of her Oxford classmates on the other. Irene looks clear-eyed at both what she was and what she is becoming. Because she does not love Roger, or want his child, she makes her painful choice. Readers will be drawn to this forthright, bright and attractive character. (January
Copyright 1987 Reed Business Information, Inc.
For those wondering where the female counterparts to Britain's angry young men have been, Grossman provides Irene Tanner, an intelligent young poet at 1950s Oxford who is oppressed by both British social snobbery and sexism. Framed by graphically brutal abortion scenes, this life storytold in flashbacks that reveal a lower-class upbringing, education, and social lifeis bleak and depressing. The male characters are destructive and brutal. Since all the negative social and sexual stereotypes are portrayed in unrelieved grim scene after scene, the reader appreciates Grossman's economy and control. For public libraries. Elizabeth Guiney Sandvick, North Hennepin Community Coll., Minneapolis
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description Soho Press, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # mon0000026695
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Book Description Soho Press, 2003. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Bookseller Inventory # DADAX1569472890
Book Description Soho Press, 2002. Paperback. Book Condition: New. book. Bookseller Inventory # M1569472890