book cover of Lucinella
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Lucinella

(1976)
A novel by

 
 
Lore Segal's tour de force look at the New York literary scene was a hit when it was first released in the 1970s, winning the praise of the literary elite. John Garnder called it 'magical.' William Gass said it was 'witty, elegant, beautiful.' Stanley Elkin called it 'a shamelessly wonderful novel, so flawless one feels civilized reading it.'

It's been a cult classic ever since, and appears here in its full, original text, as fresh as ever: the story of the whimsical New York poet Lucinella and her adventures among the literati. It starts at Yaddo writers colony, where life is idyllic, meals are served to you in your rooms, and cocktails are ready at day's end . and still the writers complain and compete. Then it moves back to New York City, where the pampered once again face reality, and wonder: Will a different husband . or the right publisher . or the perfect filing system . put life in order?

Lucinella and her circle feel lacking and keep looking, busily going to parties and watching one another 's lives closely for signs of happiness, love and despair.
Segal depicts it all with a perfect blend of love and malice. And at the center is Lucinella herself, so full of humanity and frailty that these divertissements do her to death. 'Here,' as Cynthia Ozick says, 'is the enchanted microcosm, the laughter of mortality.'

Genre: Literary Fiction

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