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Day 3

pages 43-63 — start: "You said when you're busy in summer"

April 8, 2021 by Idra Novey

“She had been away from her country for nearly forty years and yet she was the most exaggerated American I ever knew.”
With insufferable Mrs. Powell, Stead sets in motion an exceptional character study on the prejudices that people pack and take along wherever they live.

Reading Stead’s equally funny & devastating scenes, I kept thinking of Calvino’s Memos for the Next Millennium, his description of “the sudden nimble leap” of the modern writer who can take on the weight of the world with a magical lightness & exactitude.

“She had seen the strangest thing—a soft dark fringed living thing, a human eye in the keyhole.”
How did this novel fall out of circulation, with an image this startling about one human determined to spy on another?

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