Synopses & Reviews
Forty of the greatest fictional festivities as seen through the eyes of the world's greatest writers.
People love to party. And writers love to attend and document these occasions. The party is a useful literary device, not only for social commentary and satire but also as an occasion where characters can meet, fall in and out of love, or even get murdered.
A Curious Invitation is a humorous and informative guide to literature's most memorable parties. Some of these parties are depictions of real events, like the Duchess of Richmond's ball on the eve of battle with Napoleon in Thackeray's Vanity Fair; others draw on the authors' experience of the society they lived in, such as Lady Metroland's party in Evelyn Waugh's Vile Bodies; while others come straight from the writer's bizarre imagination, like Douglas Adams' flying party above an unknown planet from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.
Witty, entertaining, and full of fabulous detail, A Curious Invitation offers readers the chance to crash some of the great parties in literary history.
"With panache, attention to arresting details, and a flair for mixing literary classics with pop-culture hits, prominent London event planner Field invites readers to 40 fictional parties, including those portrayed in Plato's Symposium, Joyce's Finnegans Wake, and Poe's The Masque of the Red Death. One of the most delightful? The Onion Cellar from GÃ¼nter Grass's The Tin Drum, where patrons chop raw onions into tiny pieces while pouring out their hearts to each other in weepy camaraderie, the inspiration for Field's own popular event, Evenings of Exquisite Misery. Eccentric and witty, Field bypasses the obvious while favoring the frequently overlooked. In lieu of the Mad Tea Party, Fields treats us to Queen Alice's Feast (from Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There), where eating a dish once it has introduced itself to you constitutes a grievous breach of etiquette. Field's tone is one of breezy erudition. The conversation at the Pooh party (in Winnie-the-Pooh by A.A. Milne) is 'Beckettian,' while Gravity's Rainbow has 'a reputation for being dense and difficult to understand, but it's really just a picaresque romp.' Occasionally, Field's irreverent asides seem merely facetious ('One can only hope that Hollywood Dogs is in the pipeline,' she writes of the spin-offs from Jackie Collins's Hollywood Wives). Fortunately, she quotes lavishly from her sources to splendid effect. Agent: Ivan Mulcahy, Mulcahy Conway Associates." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Suzette Field was born and raised in Los Angeles. In 1996 she moved to England to continue her education and never got around to going home. She is now Tribune of the Last Tuesday Society, one of London's premier events promoters. While not arranging glamorous extravaganzas, Suzette has been locked away in the London Library's splendid Georgian reading rooms writing A Curious Invitation, her first book.