Foreign Parts

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, ...

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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.

Dalkey Archive Press

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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.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781564780829
  • Publisher: Dalkey Archive Press
  • Publication date: 9/28/1995
  • Edition description: 1st American ed
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 262
  • Product dimensions: 5.59 (w) x 8.57 (h) x 0.81 (d)

Meet the Author

Janice Galloway was born in Ayrshire in 1955 where she worked as a teacher for ten years. Her first novel, The Trick is to Keep Breathing, now widely considered to be a contemporary Scottish classic, was published in 1990. It was shortlisted for the Whitbread First Novel, Scottish First Book and Aer Lingus Awards, and won the MIND/Allan Lane Book of the Year. The stage adaptation has been performed at the Tron Theatre in Glasgow, the Du Maurier Theatre, Toronto and the Royal Court in London. Her second book, Blood, shortlisted for the Guardian Fiction Prize, People's Prize and Satire Award, was a New York Times Notable Book of the Year. Her second novel, Foreign Parts, won the McVitie's Prize in 1994. That same year, and for all three books, she was recipient of the E M Forster Award, presented by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Her story-collection, Where You Find It, was published in 1996, followed by a series of collaborative installation texts for sculptor Anne Bevan, published by the Fruitmarket Gallery asPipelinesin 2000. Her only play, Fall, was performed in Edinburgh and Paris in spring, 1998. She was the recipient of a Creative Scotland Award in 2001.

Dalkey Archive Press

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