Saturday, April 08, 2006

Mrs. Golightly and other stories

I have been bad at updating this little beast at all, but, partly out of guilt for abandonning a project, and partly out of my real wish to document what I've consuming, word-wise over the past while, I'm going to play catch up over the next while.

A month or so ago, I dove into Ethel Wilson's Mrs. Golightly and other stories. The only other thing I've read by Wilson is Swamp Angel, which was required reading for a Can Lit survey course I took four years ago. I remember loving that book, mostly because I hated it. (That makes sense, right?) I remember feeling like the book held some pretty patriarchal ideals, and being satisfied when learning that Wilson was, in fact, a bit of an anti-feminist.

I think I even remember my prof saying that Wilson didn't even start writing seriously until late in life because her primary duties were to her husband and children. (Oooooh.)

Anyways, Mrs. Golightly is special for a few reasons. First of all, it's a lovely hardcover edition of the book from 1961. Second of all, it came from the bookshelf of a zany feminist friend of mine who is in her 60s and was giving all her books away before she moved. (I was intrigued to find such a book on public display in her house! Granted it was outnumbered by Atwood and a lot of non-fiction oddities...)

I love the first story in this book, "Mrs. Golightly and the First Convention," and when I have my short story club (this summer, maybe? one short story a week for a month?) this will be one of the stories we read. It's just so fun... gives such a humourous picture of the stress of being a trophy wife at a business convention and the whole subculture of coiffed, cultured, bridge-playing bored stiff women of the 50s. Love it.

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