Foreign Affairs (Paperback)
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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.
"A splendid comedy, very bright, brilliantly written in a confident and original manner. The best book by one of our finest writers."
"There is no American writer I have read with more constant pleasure and sympathy. . . . "Foreign Affairs" earns the same shelf as Henry James and Edith Wharton."
"If you manage to read only a few good novels a year, make this one of them."
"An ingenious, touching book."
"A flawless jewel."
About the Author
Alison Lurie (b. 1926) is a Pulitzer Prize-winning author of fiction and nonfiction. Born in Chicago and raised in White Plains, New York, she joined the English department at Cornell University in 1970, where she taught courses on children's literature, among others. Her first novel, "Love and Friendship" (1962), is a story of romance and deception among the faculty of a snowbound New England college. It won favorable reviews and established her as a keen observer of love in academia. It was followed by the well-received "The Nowhere City" (1966) and "The War Between the Tates" (1974). In 1984, she published "Foreign Affairs", her best-known novel, which traces the erotic entanglements of two American professors in England. It won the Pulitzer Prize in 1985. In 1998, Lurie published "The Last Resort". In addition to her novels, Lurie's interest in children's literature led to three collections of folk tales and two critical studies of the genre. Lurie officially retired from Cornell in 1998, but continues to teach and write. In 2012, she was awarded a two-year term as the official author of the state of New York. "The Language of Houses "(2014) is her most recent book. Lurie lives in Ithaca, New York, and is married to the writer Edward Hower. She has three grown sons and three grandchildren.