A fairly good time, with green water, green sky

(New York Review Books Classics)

376 pages

English language

Published Jan. 29, 2016

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"An NYRB Classics Original Mavis Gallant's two novels are as memorable as her many short stories. Full of wit, whim, and psychological poignancy, A Fairly Good Time, here accompanied by Green Water, Green Sky, encapsulates Gallant's unparalleled skill as a storyteller. Shirley Perrigny (nee Norrington, then briefly Higgins), the heroin of A Fairly Good Time, is an original. Derided by the Parisians she lives among and chided by her fellow Canadians, this young, widowed girl recently remarried to a French journalist named Philippe is fond of quoting from Jane Austen and Kingsley Amis to describe her life and of using her myopia as a defense against social aggression. As the fixed points in Shirley's life begin to recede Philippe having apparently though not definitively left her freewheeling, makeshift and self-abnegating ways come to seem an aspect of devotion to her fellow man. Could the unreliable protagonist be the unwitting heroine …

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  • Divorce
  • Widows
  • Fiction