Foreign Parts

Foreign Parts

by Janice Galloway
     
 

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From the beginning this novel's tension weaves warp and woof between hilarity and hell. Two women friends travel through France, encountering backroad-European misogynist crudities and the awkward experiences of being female, over thirty, with your teeth almost literally at your closest friend's throat, and "fancying men, but not liking them very much." Throughout

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Overview

From the beginning this novel's tension weaves warp and woof between hilarity and hell. Two women friends travel through France, encountering backroad-European misogynist crudities and the awkward experiences of being female, over thirty, with your teeth almost literally at your closest friend's throat, and "fancying men, but not liking them very much." Throughout Rona's random acts of innocent irritation and Cassie's caustic reactions, the funny and fumbled art of their compassion supersedes self-slaughter, stretches itself thin, but refuses to puncture, throughout years of pals together both on holiday and in troubled spirit.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"[S]harp, funny, tender." -- PW

Dalkey Archive Press

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
``Cassie and Rona/Rona and Cassie have eaten sandwiches in Amsterdam and Gouda, Copenhagen, York, Warsaw, Munich and Lerwick... It's what we always do. We get no richer, no more sophisticated, no more included.'' Cassie and Rona, two 40-ish, single Scotswomen take a trip to France. Simple enough. But what Galloway uncovers through following their often hellish tour is the rawness of an individual out of context, the need for the familiar and the facts of friendship. Capturing the tawdriness and petty humiliations possible en route, Galloway's tumultuous, evocative prose is interrupted by the banal exhortations of a guide book (``Car drivers should NOT MISS the opportunity of driving through the beautiful, winding roads of the Layon Valley'') and by Cassie's slide show as she describes photographs of past trips and the men who dominated them. Ultimately, however, travel is a backdrop for a sharp, funny, tender but never maudlin dissection of what it means to be friends. It's not that Rona and Cassie don't get on each others nerves, but there is equality, caring, everyday kindness, patience and loyalty that neither woman has found with men. ``You only get the one shot at things and men use up too much energy,'' says Rona. ``Dependencies build up, then the power games: the moral blackmail, the intellectual blackmail, the guilt, the guilt-it goes on forever.'' (Sept.)
Library Journal
Cassie and Rona, two middle-aged, single, and spinsterish Scotswomen, take a driving tour of northern France. Rona drives and Cassie does most of the narration as they endure one mishap after the other. Cassie's lack of sentimentality allows her to notice all the grotesque details in such a humorous way that it is impossible to romanticize the trip. Very different personalities, Cassie and Rona often get on each other's nerves-yet they are good at taking care of each other when the need arises. While wondering what it would be like to be traveling with a man, Cassie also recalls less than satisfactory past experiences and decides she doesn't like men very much. Critically acclaimed in Great Britain, this book will appeal primarily to female readers of serious literary fiction. For public libraries. [For another novel with a similar plot and theme, see Pagan Kennedy's Spinsters, LJ 6/15/95.-Ed.]-Ann Irvine, Montgomery Cty. P.L., Md.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781564780829
Publisher:
Dalkey Archive Press
Publication date:
09/28/1995
Series:
British Literature Series
Edition description:
1st American ed
Pages:
262
Product dimensions:
5.59(w) x 8.57(h) x 0.81(d)
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Authors of the stories come from all over Scotland and represent a wide mix of gender, age and cultures. Celebrity contributors include Alexander McCall Smith, writer of the Number One Ladies Detective Agency series; award winning film and stage actor Brain Cox, Michael Rosen, who was Children's Poet Laureate from 2007 to 2009, and writer Janice Galloway, whose latest book was This is Not About Me.

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