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Other titles in the Karen & Michael Braziller Books series:
The Vera Wright Trilogy: My Father's Moon/Cabin Fever/The Georges' Wife (Karen & Michael Braziller Books)by Elizabeth Jolley
Synopses & Reviews
Based on Jolley"s life, the Trilogybegins in England during WWII and follows Vera Wright as she leaves her cultivated, middle-class family behind and, through a series of unorthodox passionate affairs, eventually emigrates to Australia. Along the way, she has two children out of wedlock, falls in love with the male half of a variety of couples'"married, sister-brother, and seedy bohemian (one of ambiguous sexuality)'"and yearns for the love of various women, finally having a lesbian affair aboard the ship that is taking her'"now married and a doctor by profession--to Australia. The book is a modernist work, written in the first person, multi-layered and, though essentially linear, is interrupted by recurring passages of memory much like musical refrains. Highly personal, giving insight into the workings of the passions and the unlikely bonds people form, it also creates a vivid portrait of how life was lived (particularly by women) in England from the 1930s through the 1950s, from the Depression through wartime and beyond. Jolley"s prose is simple and evocative. She writes beautifully about nature, love, sexuality, loneliness, and the constraints imposed by society, whether by war or morality. While each individual volume has great merit'"not until now, when they are gathered together, can we appreciate the power of this compelling, complex, and haunting work.
"The first two novels of this trilogy by the late Australian writer Jolley were issued in the U.S. in the 1980s, but the third was not available until now. Largely autobiographical, the novels provide a haunting portrait of a woman who came of age during WWII in England, forging her identity in courageous circumstances. My Father's Moon traces Vera's childhood, her experiences as a nurse in wartime London and her seduction and pregnancy by a womanizing physician. In Cabin Fever, Vera, poor and desperate, is exploited as a teacher at a dreadful boarding school. The Georges, the title characters in the third novel, are an elderly brother and sister in Glasgow who take in Vera as a maid. Vera has another daughter out of wedlock with Mr. George, with whom she moves to Australia in the 1950s. The books do not accrue to a conventional narrative, however. These facts, teased out from the repetition of seminal memories, like the shards of a kaleidoscope, are merely the bones of a lyrically written, imaginatively observed and emotionally compelling work." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
This moving masterpiece by one of Australia's leading novelists--now in its entirety--inaugurates Persea's series of Elizabeth Jolley revivals.
Set in 1940s wartime England, the trilogy follows young Vera, who leaves her cultivated Midlands home to become a nurse in a military hospital and is catapulted into adulthood through unorthodox love entanglements with both men and women, two illegitimate children, and finally emigration to Australia, where, from her new vantage point--now a doctor and writer--she looks back on her life's journey. Combining the beauty of Virginia Woolf with the spare, heartbreaking insightfulness of Jean Rhys, the trilogy is both a literary tour de force and an accessible, universal portrait of a woman in search of sustaining love.
The concluding volume, The Georges' Wife, is published here for the first time in the US. The first two volumes have long been out of print. North American readers can now experience "the most ambitious and accomplished work in Jolley's oeuvre" (J. M. Coetzee).
About the Author
Elizabeth Jolley (1923-2007) is one of Australia's most celebrated writers, with a formidable international reputation, and during the 1980s and 1990s was widely acclaimed with a wide readership in the U. S. Born in England in 1923, she was brought up in a strict, German-speaking household and attended a Quaker boarding school. She became a nurse, married, and with three children moved to Western Australia in 1959. Although she wrote all her life, it was not until she was in her fifties that her books started to receive the recognition they deserved. Her work won every major award in Australia, and was several times selected as a New York Times Notable Book. Excerpts from her novels (including Cabin Fever, Book 2 in the Trilogy) were published in The New Yorker. Her novels include The Sugar Mother, Foxybaby, Miss Peabody's Inheritance, and Mr. Scobie's Riddle. Elizabeth Jolley died in 2007.
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