Postcard from New York # 2: NY Reading

20 Mar

Greetings! A funny thing happend on the way to the Lower East Side: I lost my book on the crosstown bus. I sat down in a lovely little cupcake cafe place (New York is full of these) with my soy chai latte but when I tried to find it, it was gone!

So if someone in New York City finds my copy of The Group by Mary McCarthy: pick it up and read it! I was really enjoying it and was pretty miffed to have to stop. Set in the 1930s, the book charts the lives and loves a group of friends after their graudation from the all-girl college, Vassar. The women are from quite different backgrounds: there is the very wealthy Pokey, who flies around in her own plane, to the more discernably middle class and thouroughly over-educated Helena. What struck me  about this book was how thoroughly it is a product of its time, being in fact written in the sixties. The focus, therefore, is on revealing the lives and experiences of women that previously were censored by moral and religious propriety. The extremely detailed account of Dottie Renfrew’s first romantic encounter and her dealings with doctors to acquire the necessities to avoid pregnancy are clearly dealt with in a way that seeks to demystify the realities of female experience, both that of the sixties and the thirties.

The characters are funny and interesting for the most part and I was particularly enjoying Kay’s story, and her marriage to her playwright husband. But it’s gone now, hopefully being read by some Lower East Sider. Once I find another copy of it, I’ll let you know what I think of the rest of it! Until then, I’ll be reading one of the following: Books Burn Badly by Manuel Rivas or The Subterreaneans by Kerouac. Reviews to follow….

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