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Don't Look At Me Like That

(1967)
A novel by

 
Veteran editor Diana Athill's novella Don't Look at Me Like That, first published in 1967, is a polished tale of a young woman's sentimental education in the 1950s. Meg Bailey, the daughter of a poor rural vicar, is first introduced as a 16-year-old into "polite" society by her wealthy, glamorous school friend Roxanne Weaver. As the years pass, Roxanne settles for marriage and respectability, while Meg drifts in a somnolent haze through art school and tentative jobs as a freelance illustrator in London. Despite taking lovers and becoming part of a bohemian, free-spirited household, Meg remains aloof, her hesitant personality buried beneath that of the confident showiness of Roxanne and of Roxanne's manipulative mother--until she smashes the accepted mores of her upbringing and of society by embarking on an affair with a married man. Echoing such coming-of-age novels as Rosamond Lehmann's The Weather in the Streets and Elizabeth Jane Howard's The Beautiful Visit, Don't Look at Me Like That evokes a London of rain; grimy bedsits, plush, hushed restaurants, illicitness and despair. Eschewing sentimentality for the precision that distinguished her later memoir, Stet, Athill skilfully blends diffidence and pathos to produce a story at once all-too familiar and unique. --Catherine Taylor


Hardback Editions

October 1967 : USA Hardback
Title: Don't Look at Me: 2
Author(s): Diana Athill
ISBN: 0-670-27936-6 / 978-0-670-27936-4 (USA edition)
Publisher: Viking Adult
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   

October 1967 : UK Hardback
thumbTitle: Don't Look at Me Like That
Author(s): Diana Athill
ISBN: 0-7011-0517-8 / 978-0-7011-0517-4 (UK edition)
Publisher: Chatto & Windus
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   

Paperback Editions

August 2001 : UK Paperback
thumbTitle: Don't Look at Me Like That
Author(s): Diana Athill
ISBN: 1-86207-441-0 / 978-1-86207-441-5 (UK edition)
Publisher: Granta Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


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