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Ophelia and the Great Idea

Ophelia and the Great Idea

by Deborah Levy

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
This short story collection is the work of a gifted young writer who has yet to find her voice. In ``Preparing for Life,'' Levy imitates Latin-American magic realists to tell of Mamita, a dying woman whose sneeze causes her soul, in the form of a white mouse, to pop out of her mouth. The title story and many of the other flat, disconnected tales, are told like dreams. ``Flush'' is college humor. There's a little Zen parody, a few interspersed news bulletins. Throughout, the message is grim. Society undervalues art and artists, oppresses women, is intent on destroying the human race, uses money to crush esthetics; yet, underneath irony as thick as armor, there seems to beat a heart which Levy may, in the future, set free. In the meantime, there is a vogue for writing that satirizes contemporary life without engaging or threatening anyone's emotions, and Levy's spare parodies have attracted a cult following in England. (May)
Library Journal - Library Journal
In her first collection of short stories Levy presents an imaginative mix of fantasy and fact, of fiction and political critique, that should entertain and provoke the thoughtful reader. Portraying contemporary society as decadent because it values lust and money over the emotions, Levy introduces us to a vivid range of characters. In the title story we read of two ``Ophelias'' whose imaginative idealism is thwarted by a father's scientific pragmatism. In ``Flush'' we are introduced to Al Napalmski, whose shipboard party on the Oy Voy constitutes a modern-day den of iniquity. Few escape criticism in Levy's world. Yet a certain optimism shines through, as in the story ``Heresies'' when the equally dispossessed, yet traditionally hostile Greeks and Turks, celebrate together in the streets of working-class London.-- Julia Duffy, CUNY Graduate Sch. Lib.

Product Details

Penguin Group (USA) Incorporated
Publication date:
Edition description:
1st American ed
Product dimensions:
20.00(w) x 20.00(h) x 20.00(d)

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