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260 pages, Paperback
First published January 1, 1958
[T]he magistrate, like most Frenchmen, could apparently do without Americans but not without Art[.]Oh, for whatever reason could that be.
“You know, these American girls are just like avocados….” His avocado arrived and he looked at it lovingly. “The Typical American Girl,” he said, addressing it. “A hard center with the tender meat all wrapped up in a shiny casing.” He began eating it. “How I love them,” he murmured greedily. “So green—so eternally green.” He winked at me. (p. 224)Ouch. With a couple of exceptions, the male characters are all like the avocado eater: endlessly patronizing as they pat the narrator’s hand, ruffle her hair, invite friends for dinner (“You can’t cook…why, good Lord, Sally Jay, I thought every girl knew how to cook,” p. 144), and say things like, “Cheer up, Gorce. Behave yourself and I’ll tell you something nice.” (p. 178) One can only agree with Sally: “I reflected wearily that it was not easy to be a Woman in these stirring times. I said it then and I say it now: it just isn’t our century.” (p. 55)
I mean, the question actors most often get asked is how they can bear saying the same things over and over again night after night, but God knows the answer to this is, don’t we all anyway; might as well get paid for it. (p. 130)To be honest, I think I would have enjoyed Dundy's novel more if I'd read it, oh, let's say thirty years ago!