Meet Ginny Babcock - the forerunner to BRIDGET JONESIt's the 1950's and 60's in Hullsport, Tennessee and Ginny Babcock is coming of age. Bouncing from one identity to the other, she adopts the values, politics, lifestyles and even sexual orientation of each new partner she finds. In this wise, funny and ultimately heartbreaking story, Lisa Alther explores the limited roles offered to women in this period - from cheerleader to motorcycle moll, bulldyke to madonna - each embodying important truths about the aspirations of the culture that created them.Honest, wise, funny and tragic by turns this is a remarkable novel in a class of its own.
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Lisa Alther's wonderful first novel -- her large, hilarious, serious, and powerfully affecting story of a young American woman's uproarious tumble through the fads and shocks and "essential" experiences of the 60's and 70's -- has created a ground swell of advance excitement and admiration, exemplified by the letter from Doris Lessing on the back of the jacket. Ginny Babcock at twenty-seven, Cast-Out Adulterous Wife and Unfit Mother, is en route to Hullsport, Tennessee, and her own mother's hospital bed (her father is dead, her family home on the auction block). She's groggy with two in-flight martinis, huddled next to the DC-7's emergency exit ("My family has always been into death")... Her "home movies" -- her uncensored Kinflicks -- unreel: her first Never-Tell padded bra; the first time she made love -- to the hood-about-town, in her parents' bomb shelter ("I feared sperm almost as much as I feared Communists"); the Hullsport High Romance of the Decade: Flag Swinger Ginny and her Little All-American running back, Joe Bob Sparks (he had "a smile in excess of any possible stimulus"); "Do-It" Pruitt, Ginny's grammar school chum who'd gone "all the way" for all the guys; Ginny hefting a lacquered bouffant like a plastic space helmet; Ginny in the truck of a car, with Joe Bob "twisting one of my nipples as though tuning a radio"; Ginny at her Ivy League college ("a close-fitting coif, wool suits, cameo brooches, low-heeled shoes"), starstruck by Spinoza and his scholarly herald, Miss Head... Ginny abandoning college and The Family and The City, resisting the American Capitalist Imperialist Economy, wearing fatigues and eating "whole grain bread you needed diamond-tipped teeth to chew," joining a commune (with other "Communists, lesbians, draft-dodgers, atheists, and food stamp recipients"); Ginny, housewife (the handsome husband, the darling baby), in the Tupperware party set; Ginny into Transcendental Sex with her war (resister) hero; Ginny as the Madame Bovary of Stark's Bog, Vermont... Now: Ginny at the hospital, at her mother's side ("I have been well and happy, Mother. In between being sick and miserable.") Ginny helplessly watching her mother besieged by doctors, by nurses, by dying ("Why was she being treated like an idiot child: Whose body was it?") Ginny nerved for the maternal lecture ("Extramarital sex is vulgar. You must do your duty"), spending whole afternoons with her mother, the two of them absorbed in, protected by, soap operas ("unsurpassed as social realism...almost as tedious as life itself"); Ginny beginning (at last) to perceive her mother's life as distinct from her own; Ginny coalescing, moving on... Absolutely alive and generous, filled with unconstrained laughter and feeling, KINFLICKS will stand as a novel of major importance about mothers and daughters, about friends and lovers, and about becoming a person in our time.From the Back Cover:
"I very much like this book, am sure Alther will be recognized as a strong, salty, original talent. Is the word I am look for balanced? She does fuse qualities, being robustly despairing, tenaciously critical, yet vigorously creative, grim but comical -- she had me laughing at four in the morning. No man could have written it, but it is very far from being a 'woman's book,' and it made me wonder what TOM JONES would be like, written now. It is the size and scope of the territory Alther claims which is impressive." -- Doris Lessing "It's a delight...Beautifully written, moving, and true." -- Erica Jong
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Book Description Virago Press Ltd, 1999. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # P111860497098
Book Description Virago Press Ltd. PAPERBACK. Book Condition: New. 1860497098 New Condition. Bookseller Inventory # NEW7.0786910