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1 Hawthorne Literature- A to Z

This title in other editions

The Dud Avocado


The Dud Avocado Cover

ISBN13: 9781590172322
ISBN10: 1590172329
Condition: Standard
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Average customer rating based on 6 comments:

missdelph, November 19, 2014 (view all comments by missdelph)
Oh, to be young and in Paris! Elaine Dundy takes us on an engaging journey with this book's young heroine as she navigates the Paris scene in the late nineteen-fifties. The characters, the plot, everything is spot on. A coming of age book in the best sense!
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Sadie Detroit, January 15, 2012 (view all comments by Sadie Detroit)
The simple premise is that a young woman, "hell bent on living," has recently finished college and has been given two years of funded freedom by her rich uncle. She spends most of this time in Paris, in 1955, where she meets artists, actors, crooks, and lots of men.

I connected instantly with this book and its fantastic heroine, Sally Jay Gorce. I, too, spent a year in Paris when I was around 20 years old, and I, too, lived a series of wild and bizarre adventures. But what I love most about this book is the powerful and unapologetic female voice. I grew up reading mostly male authors, and their female characters are so often irrational, illogical, and basically incomprehensible to the narrator/author (I particularly have Hemingway's Lady Brett Ashley in mind here). Elaine Dundy writes Sally Jay Gorce in a perfectly honest and open way. Sometimes Gorce is indeed irrational, but she is always in charge of telling us the story and situating herself within it.

This is one of the best books I have read in ages. The writing is quick and funny, the characters are real and believable, and the drama unfolds in a manic rush of Paris scenery. I cannot recommend it highly enough.
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
Gypsi, June 5, 2010 (view all comments by Gypsi)

The Dud Avocado tells the story of Sally Jay Groce, fresh out of college and ready to live life to it's fullest in Paris. Once in Paris, she goes "more native than the natives" trying to cram as much "living" as she can in two short years. Sally Jay's attempts to live it up lead her into many roles, from mistress to actress to homebody, and she embraces every role with gusto--usually with disastrous results.

Dundy's fifty-year-old classic is fresh and witty, and sometimes a bit racy, and her prose is as close to perfection as one can find. Add this to Sally Jay, a protagonist so alive and real, and it is easy to see why this book gained such a following upon publication.

Here is an excerpt from chapter 3, one of my favorite bits, to give an example of the delicious flavor of the Dud Avocado:

"At eleven o'clock that night, in one of my dangerous moods--midnight-black, excited and deeply dreading (as opposed to one of my beautiful midnight-blue ones, calm but deeply excited), my nerves strung taut to singing, I arrived at the Ritz, only to discover all over again what a difficult thing this was to do. I tended to loose my balance at the exact moment that the doorman opened the cab door and stood by in his respectful attitude o f"waiting." I have even been known to fall out of the cab by reaching and pushing against the handle at the same time that he did. But this time, however, I had disciplined myself to remain quite, quite still, sitting on my hands until the door was opened for me. Then, burrowing into my handbag, which suddenly looked like the Black Hole of Cacutgta, to find the fare, I discovered that I needed a light. A light was switched on. I needed more than a light, I needed a match or a flashlight or special glasses, for I simply couldn't find my change purse, and when I did (lipstick rolling on the floor, compact open and everything spilled--passport,m mirror, the works) I couldn't find the right change. We were now all three of us, driver, doorman and I, waiting to see what I was going to do next. I took out some bills, counted them three times in the dark until I was absolutely certain that I had double the amount necessary, and then pressed it on the driver, eagerly apologizing for overtipping. Overcome with shyness I nodded briefly in the direction of the doorman and raced him to the entrance. I just won. Panting and by now in an absolute ecstasy of panic I flung myself at the revolving doors and let them spin me through. Thus I gained access to the Ritz."

I guffawed out loud so often throughout the Dud Avocado; I read parts aloud to my husband; I laughed at and cried with Sally Jay. . . in short, I lived this book. It was pure joy to read, and one that I will certainly read a second time.
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(1 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
Marina Cramer, November 4, 2009 (view all comments by Marina Cramer)
One of the most appealing heroines in modern fiction, she is sophisticated enough to take full advantage of what post-war Paris has to offer, while embracing life with all the energy, freshness, and innocence of youth. Through her we experience the freethinking possibilities of an intoxicating time and place.
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(2 of 3 readers found this comment helpful)
Jon Garrow, May 19, 2008 (view all comments by Jon Garrow)
This is a truly excellent read - wonderfully frank and evocative of the Lost Generation experience in Paris. It is worth noting, however, that the author is still dead.
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(3 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)
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Product Details

Dundy, Elaine
New York Review of Books
Introduction by:
Teachout, Terry
Teachout, Terry
chout, Terry
Teachout, Terry
T, E. A.
Americans -- France.
General Fiction
Literature-A to Z
fiction;paris;france;novel;1950s;american;virago;20th century;humor;coming of age;american literature;women;travel;literature;romance;us
Edition Description:
Trade paper
New York Review Books Classics
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8.00x5.02x.60 in. .66 lbs.

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The Dud Avocado Used Trade Paper
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Product details 272 pages New York Review of Books - English 9781590172322 Reviews:
"Review" by , "I had to tell someone how much I enjoyed The Dud Avocado. It made me laugh, scream, and guffaw (which, incidentally, is a great name for a law firm)."
"Review" by , "[The Dud Avocado] is one of the best novels about growing up fast."
"Review" by , "The gayest and most cheerful novel about Americans in Paris I have read...a dazzling performance — as light as a champagne bubble, as continuously attention-getting as a juggler keeping seven swords in the air at the same time."
"Review" by , "A cheerfully uninhibited...variation on the theme of the Innocents Abroad...Miss Dundy comes up with fresh and spirited comedy...Her novel is enormous fun — sparklingly written, genuinely youthful in spirit, and exquisitely gay."
"Synopsis" by , The NYRB Classics series is designedly and determinedly exploratory and eclectic, a mix of fiction and non-fiction from different eras and times and of various sorts. The series includes nineteenth century novels and experimental novels, reportage and belles lettres, tell-all memoirs and learned studies, established classics and cult favorites, literature high, low, unsuspected, and unheard of. NYRB Classics are, to a large degree, discoveries, the kind of books that people typically run into outside of the classroom and then remember for life.

Inevitably literature in translation constitutes a major part of the NYRB Classics series, simply because so much great literature has been left untranslated into English, or translated poorly, or deserves to be translated again, much as any outstanding book asks to be read again.

The series started in 1999 with the publication of Richard Hughes's A High Wind in Jamaica. NYRB Classics includes new translations of canonical figures such as Euripides, Dante, Balzac, and Chekhov; fiction by modern and contemporary masters such as Vasily Grossman, Mavis Gallant, Daphne du Maurier, Stefan Zweig, and Upamanyu Chatterjee; tales of crime and punishment by George Simenon and Kenneth Fearing; masterpieces of narrative history and literary criticism, poetry, travel writing, biography, cookbooks, and memoirs from such writers as Norman Mailer, Lionel Trilling, and Patrick Leigh Fermor; and unclassifiable classics on the order of J. R. Ackerley's My Dog Tulip and Robert Burton's The Anatomy of Melancholy. Fall 2009 sees the publication of the series' first graphic novel, Poem Strip by Dino Buzzati, translated into English for the first time.

Published in handsome uniform trade paperback editions, almost all the 250 NYRB Classics included in this collection feature an introduction by an outstanding writer, scholar, or critic of our day. Taken as a whole, NYRB Classics may be considered a series of books of unrivaled variety and quality for discerning and adventurous readers.

This collection includes one each of the following titles:

A High Wind in Jamaica by Richard Hughes

Jakob von Gunten by Robert Walser

The Living Thoughts of Kierkegaard by Soren Kierkegaard

Lolly Willowes by Sylvia Townsend Warner

My Dog Tulip by J.R. Ackerley

My Father and Myself by J.R. Ackerley

The Other House by Henry James

Peasants and Other Stories by Anton Chekhov

Prison Memoirs of an Anarchist by Alexander Berkman

A Handbook on Hanging by Charles Duff

Hindoo Holiday by J.R. Ackerley

Memoirs of My Nervous Illness by Daniel Paul Schreber

The Wooden Shepherdess by Richard Hughes

The Stories of J.F. Powers by J.F. Powers

Memoirs of Lorenzo Da Ponte by Lorenzo Da Ponte

Morte D'Urban by J.F. Powers

Records of Shelley, Byron, and the Author by Edward John Trelawny

Wheat that Springeth Green by J.F. Powers

Classic Crimes by William Roughead

The Lore and Language of Schoolchildren by Iona Opie

The Unknown Masterpiece by Honore de Balzac

Virgin Soil by Ivan Turgenev

The Glass Bees by Ernst Junger

The Pure and the Impure by Colette

The Waste Books by Georg Christoph Lichtenberg

A Month in the Country by J.L. Carr

Seven Men by Max Beerbohm

To Each His Own by Leonardo Sciascia

The Wine-Dark Sea by Leonardo Sciascia

Alfred and Guinevere by James Schuyler

The Pilgrim Hawk by Glenway Wescott

The Fox in the Attic by Richard Hughes

The Haunted Looking Glass by Edward Gorey

A House and Its Head by Ivy Compton-Burnett

Manservant and Maidservant by Ivy Compton-Burnett

Hadrian the Seventh by Fr. Rolfe

Madame de Pompadour by Nancy Mitford

The Quest for Corvo by A.J.A. Symons

The Root and the Flower by L.H. Myers

The Anatomy of Melancholy by Robert Burton

Exploits and Adventures of Brigadier Gerard by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Letty Fox by Christina Stead

The Golovlyov Family by Shchedrin

The Radiance of the King by Camara Laye

Eustace and Hilda by L.P. Hartley

Seduction and Betrayal by Elizabeth Hardwick

Sleepless Nights by Elizabeth Hardwick

A Way of Life, Like Any Other by Darcy O'Brien

As a Man Grows Older by Italo Svevo

Autobiography of an Unknown Indian by Nirad C. Chaudhuri

Renoir, My Father by Jean Renoir

An African in Greenland by Tete-Michel Kpomassie

Letters: Summer 1926 by Boris Pasternak

Mr. Fortune' s Maggot by Sylvia Townsend Warner

Selected Works of Cesare Pavese by Cesare Pavese

The Life of Henry Brulard by Stendhal

On the Yard by Malcolm Braly

Selected Stories of Robert Walser by Robert Walser

The Adventures and Misadventures of Maqroll by Alvaro Mutis

Mawrdew Czgowchwz by James McCourt

The Go-Between by L.P. Hartley

The Outcry by Henry James

A Book of Mediterranean Food by Elizabeth David

Letters from Russia by Astolphe De Custine

Miserable Miracle by Henri Michaux

Riders in the Chariot by Patrick White

Summer Cooking by Elizabeth David

Corrigan by Caroline Blackwood

Great Granny Webster by Caroline Blackwood

Mary Olivier by May Sinclair

Randall Jarrell's Book of Stories by Randall Jarrell

The New Life by Dante Alighieri

The Ten Thousand Things by Maria Dermout

The Unpossessed by Tess Slesinger

The Middle of the Journey by Lionel Trilling

The World of Odysseus by M.I. Finley

The Book of My Life by Girolamo Cardano

The Moon and the Bonfires by Cesare Pavese

Paris Stories by Mavis Gallant

Troubles by J.G. Farrell

In the Freud Archives by Janet Malcolm

The Private Memoirs and Confessions of a Justified Sinner by James Hogg

A Sorrow Beyond Dreams by Peter Handke

The Fountain Overflows by Rebecca West

Prisoner of Love by Jean Genet

We Always Treat Women Too Well by Raymond Queneau

Witch Grass by Raymond Queneau

The Stuffed Owl by D.B. Wyndham Lewis

To the Finland Station by Edmund Wilson

The Vet's Daughter by Barbara Comyns

Walter Benjamin by Gershom Scholem

Fancies and Goodnights by John Collier

Shelley: The Pursuit by Richard Holmes

In Parenthesis by David Jones

Peking Story by David Kidd

Rene Leys by Victor Segalen

Black Sun by Geoffrey Wolff

Dirty Snow by Georges Simenon

The Invention of Morel by Adolfo Bioy Casares

The Day of the Owl by Leonardo Sciascia

Equal Danger by Leonardo Sciascia

Monsieur Proust by Celeste Albaret

Three Bedrooms in Manhattan by Georges Simenon

The Tenants of Moonbloom by Edward Lewis Wallant

The Towers of Trebizond by Rose MacAulay

Varieties of Exile by Mavis Gallant

My Century by Aleksander Wat

The World I Live In by Helen Keller

American Humor by Constance Rourke

The Ivory Tower by Henry James

The Gallery by John Horne Burns

Paris and Elsewhere by Richard Cobb

Apartment in Athens by Glenway Wescott

Envy by Yuri Olesha

The Moro Affair by Leonardo Sciascia

Nights in the Gardens of Brooklyn by Harvey Swados

Part of Our Time by Murray Kempton

The Case of Comrade Tulayev by Victor Serge

Boredom by Alberto Moravia

Contempt by Alberto Moravia

The Diary of a Rapist by Evan S. Connell

Monsieur Monde Vanishes by Georges Simenon

The Siege of Krishnapur by J.G. Farrell

W. H. Auden's Book of Light Verse by W. H. Auden

Asleep in the Sun by Adolfo Bioy Casares

The Bog People by P.V. Glob

Moravagine by Blaise Cendrars

The Selected Poems of Osip Mandelstam by Osip Mandelstam

Cassandra at the Wedding by Dorothy Baker

The Furies by Janet Hobhouse

Hons and Rebels by Jessica Mitford

Indian Summer by William Dean Howells

Memoirs of Hecate County by Edmund Wilson

The Inferno of Dante Alighieri by Dante Alighieri

The Year of the French by Thomas Flanagan

Flaubert and Madame Bovary by Francis Steegmuller

The Late Mattia Pascal by Luigi Pirandello

The Life of Lazarillo de Tormes by W.S. Merwin

The Peregrine by J.A. Baker

Blood on the Forge by William Attaway

The Child by Jules Valles

The Lord Chandos Letter by Hugo Von Hofmannsthal

The Singapore Grip by J.G. Farrell

Count D'Orgel's Ball by Raymond Radiguet

War and the Iliad by Simone Weil

Anglo-Saxon Attitudes by Angus Wilson

The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual by Harold Cruse

Kaputt by Curzio Malaparte

Memed, My Hawk by Yashar Kemal

The Notebooks of Joseph Joubert by Joseph Joubert

The Thirty Years War by C.V. Wedgwood

Shakespeare by Mark Van Doren

The Stalin Front by Gert Ledig

Tropic Moon by Georges Simenon

Between the Woods and the Water by Patrick Leigh Fermor

A Time of Gifts by Patrick Leigh Fermor

Jejuri by Arun Kolatkar

The Man Who Watched Trains Go By by Georges Simenon

Mouchette by Georges Bernanos

Warlock by Oakley Hall

The New York Stories of Henry James by Henry James

Chess Story by Stefan Zweig

What's for Dinner? by James Schuyler

English, August by Upamanyu Chatterjee

Conundrum by Jan Morris

Life and Fate by Vasily Grossman

Mani by Patrick Leigh Fermor

Roumeli by Patrick Leigh Fermor

Beware of Pity by Stefan Zweig

Stoner by John Williams

The Big Clock by Kenneth Fearing

Red Lights by Georges Simenon

The Jeffersonian Transformation by Henry Adams

Love in a Fallen City by Eileen Chang

A Savage War of Peace by Alistair Horne

Clark Gifford's Body by Kenneth Fearing

The Strangers in the House by Georges Simenon

Pages from the Goncourt Journals by Edmond and Jules de Goncourt

They Burn the Thistles by Yashar Kemal

Born Under Saturn by Rudolf and Margot Wittkower

The Stray Dog Cabaret by Edited by Honor Moore and Catherine Ciepiela

Butcher's Crossing by John Williams

Dante by Erich Auerbach

The Slaves of Solitude by Patrick Hamilton

That Awful Mess on the Via Merulana by Carlo Emilio Gadda

The Engagement by Georges Simenon

The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim

The Slynx by Tatyana Tolstaya

White Walls by Tatyana Tolstaya

Memoirs of Montparnasse by John Glassco

The Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy

The Education Of A Gardener by Russell Page

The Book of Ebenezer Le Page by G. B. Edwards

Sunflower by Gyula Krudy

Novels in Three Lines by Felix Feneon

The Goshawk by T. H. White

The New York Stories of Edith Wharton by Edith Wharton

A Time to Keep Silence by Patrick Leigh Fermor

All About H. Hatterr by G. V. Desani

Rogue Male by Geoffrey Household

Memoirs of an Anti-Semite by Gregor von Rezzori

Soul by Andrey Platonov

Sheppard Lee, Written by Himself by Robert Montgomery Bird

Poems of the Late T'ang by A. C. Graham

Twenty Thousand Streets Under the Sky by Patrick Hamilton

Unforgiving Years by Victor Serge

Belchamber by Howard Sturgis

A Journey Round My Skull by Frigyes Karinthy

The Widow by Georges Simenon

The Post-Office Girl by Stefan Zweig

Afloat by Guy de Maupassant

The Family Mashber by Der Nister

The Summer Book by Tove Jansson

Names on the Land by George R. Stewart

Miami and the Siege of Chicago by Norman Mailer

Inverted World by Christopher Priest

My Fantoms by Theophile Gautier

Stones of Aran: Pilgrimage by Tim Robinson

In Hazard by Richard Hughes

Victorine by Maude Hutchins

Grief Lessons by Euripides

Rock Crystal by Adalbert Stifter

The Liberal Imagination by Lionel Trilling

The Queue by Vladimir Sorokin

Ringolevio by Emmett Grogan

Defeat: Napoleon’s Russian Campaign by Philippe-Paul de Segur

Don't Look Now by Daphne Du Maurier

The Chrysalids by John Wyndham

Pinocchio by Carlo Collodi

The Snows of Yesteryear by Gregor von Rezzori

The Rider on the White Horse by Theodor Storm

School for Love by Olivia Manning

Chaos and Night by Henry de Montherlant

A Meaningful Life by L. J. Davis

Short Letter, Long Farewell by Peter Handke

Slow Homecoming by Peter Handke

Season of Migration to the North by Tayeb Salih

The Foundation Pit by Andrey Platonov

The Complete Fiction by Francis Wyndham

The One-Straw Revolution by Masanobu Fukuoka

The Old Man and Me by Elaine Dundy

Summer Will Show by Syliva Townsend Warner

Niki by Tibor Dery

Hard Rain Falling by Don Carpenter

Stones of Aran: Labyrinth by Tim Robinson

The Cost of Living by Mavis Gallant

Memories of the Future by Sigizmund Krzhizhanovsky

Poem Strip by Dino Buzzati

No Tomorrow by Vivant Denon

The Way of the World by Nicolas Bouvier

"Synopsis" by , "The Dud Avocado "follows the romantic and comedic adventures of a young American who heads overseas to conquer Paris in the late 1950s. Edith Wharton and Henry James wrote about the American girl abroad, but it was Elaine Dundy's Sally Jay Gorce who told us what she was really thinking. Charming, sexy, and hilarious, "The Dud Avocado" gained instant cult status when it was first published and it remains a timeless portrait of a woman hell-bent on living. "I had to tell someone how much I enjoyed "The Dud Avocado." It made me laugh, scream, and guffaw (which, incidentally, is a great name for a law firm)." -Groucho Marx "("The Dud Avocado") is one of the best novels about growing up fast..." "-The Guardian"
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