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Lucinella

3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  124 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Intelligence turns me on.

Lore Segal's tour de force look at the New York literary scene was a hit when it was first released in the 1970s, winning the praise of the literary elite. John Garnder called it “magical.” William Gass said it was “witty, elegant, beautiful.” Stanley Elkin called it “a shamelessly wonderful novel, so flawless one feels civilized reading it.”

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Paperback, 160 pages
Published October 13th 2009 by Melville House (first published 1976)
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Justin
I continue to find myself judging writers based on how I feel about their protagonist, and, particularly, if they (the writers, that is) are being too gracious to them (the protagonists). Such is definitely the case in Lucinella. There are some interesting passages, and Segal's prose is whimsical, if a little precious when she breaks the fourth wall (or whatever you'd call it in literature). But Lucinella is a disaster, and not in the great Ignatius Reilly way. She's frivolous in her craft, self ...more
Jeremy Hornik
I'm going a little crazy for Lore Segal right now. This is a sort of memoir, like all her books, and sort of a magical realist thing, and sort of a satire on the literary life. What she does is make these wonderful characters, full of emotions and needs, and moves them along at a pace that is completely unforced and natural. And they have the neat trick of being both unpredictable (you don't know what they'll do next) and sympathetic (you believe what they do, and empathize with them for doing i ...more
Matthew Trevithick
This nice book, in its funnier moments, accurately nails why it's best to remain wary of authors, poets, writers, and other so-called intellectuals... very amusing and well written.
Michael
Parts of this novella (primarily the bits with Zeus) didn't really hold my interest, and I admittedly skimmed the last 30 pages, but there were some terrific set pieces that make this a worthwhile read. I could call this a scathing take-down of the insular world of literary figures, but Segal clearly has affection for all of them.
Nathan
Jan 12, 2010 Nathan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everybody
pretty great. really funny and super dense. if you read more than two sentences and don't find anything clever, funny, or playful go back and you'll find something every time. (happened to me about every other page.) reminded me a little of my favorite book of the zeroes, mary robison's "why did i ever."
Lauren Albert
Hard to describe. Zeus and Hera are characters. Young Lucinella, Lucinella and Old Lucinella all play roles (often in the same scenes). Satirical and affectionate novel about writers.
Isaac
Truly one of the funnier, odder, denser, slim little books I've read in a while. I've really enjoyed this series of novellas and aim to read them all.
Elizabeth Bradley
Completely and utterly wonderful. Shockingly of-the-moment, considering that it's 30 yrs old... READ THIS NOW!
Meredith
I read it twice! It was charming, smart and sad both times.
Liza
Jan 06, 2012 Liza added it
This reminded me of things I Do Not Like, but this, I liked.
May FLower
Pynchon-esque novella about a poet and her literary scene
Boyd

Shooting fish in a barrel.
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Lore Segal was born in Vienna in 1928. In 1938, she arrived in England as one of the thousands of Jewish children brought out of Germany, Austria, and Czechoslovakia by the Kindertransport and lived with several foster families in succession. She graduated from the University of London and, after a sojourn in Trujillo's Dominican Republic, came to New York City. She married the editor David Segal ...more
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