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Pirate Jenny: A Novel
     

Pirate Jenny: A Novel

by April Bernard
 

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"Life sucks, but you can still get a good deal if you're sharp." On this motto hangs the saga of a heroine who makes herself up as she goes along, never looking back. A closely observed and intricate comedy of class relations, here is a novel of suspense and adventure on the stormy seas of New York—a book as smart, dangerous, and winning as the femme fatale at

Overview

"Life sucks, but you can still get a good deal if you're sharp." On this motto hangs the saga of a heroine who makes herself up as she goes along, never looking back. A closely observed and intricate comedy of class relations, here is a novel of suspense and adventure on the stormy seas of New York—a book as smart, dangerous, and winning as the femme fatale at its heart.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Though named for popular singer Connie Francis, the teenage heroine of this accomplished, highly imaginative picaresque novel models herself on Lotte Lenya and calls herself Jenny after the heroine of The Three Penny Opera. Intent on escape from her small New England town, transported by the sounds of Brecht and Weill, she makes her way to New York and arrives there transformed into Jenny Freuhoffer, complete with a Berlin circa-1920s look and a thick German accent. She gets a job as a hotel chambermaid and then lucks into a position as nanny in an aristocratic White Russian household. She insinuates herself into this exotic world and all that it offers, improving her position by judicious use of sex, drugs, thievery and dishonesty. Despite some loose ends and pacing irregularities, poet Bernard's ( Blackbird Bye Bye ) bold and original prose gives this novel an arresting distinction. Reminiscent of The Book of Phoebe in some of its wilder moments, though far darker, the novel captures the chilling and implacable logic of a sociopath achieving her goals. To Bernard's credit, readers will be fascinated and appalled but not repelled by the machinations of Jenny as she moves ruthlessly through this perverse and offbeat tale. (June)This pleases me to no end! elizabeth
Library Journal
``Pirate Jenny'' is really a young woman named Connie Frances LaPlante, whom we find in this novel growing up in a small New England town. Her mother, ``Kitten,'' doesn't know much about raising a daughter, and her father is gone more often than not. Connie renames herself Jenny, immerses herself in Kurt Weill and everything German without understanding why, and sets off for New York City, where she invents a new life. She survives quite well, eventually living with a wealthy family whom she fools completely. Bernard's descriptions of the young Jenny are right on target. As the novel progresses, however, reality is less prevalent, and many readers will lose interest somewhat. Still, this is a novel most larger collections will want to consider purchasing.-- Mary K. Prokop, CEL Regional Lib., Savannah, Ga. vb.21

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780393334302
Publisher:
Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.
Publication date:
01/01/1980
Pages:
244
Product dimensions:
5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x (d)

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Meet the Author

April Bernard is the author of four previous poetry collections and two novels. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker and the New York Review of Books. She teaches at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York.

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