|Publisher:||Little, Brown and Company|
|Tags:||family, fiction, U.S.A.|
Marquand's semi-autobiographical story is told in the first-person by Jim Calder, a successful magazine writer from an old literary New England family who is thinking of beginning a novel. Prompted by the pompous and adulatory novel in progress of a former classmate, Harvard professor Allen Southby, he feels he should tell the tale of his famous Brill kin and their home, Wickford Point, rather than allowing them to be preempted by the miscomprehending Southby. [Suggest a different description.]
Author Bio for Marquand, John P. (John Phillips)
John Phillips Marquand (November 10, 1893 – July 16, 1960) was an American writer. Originally best known for his Mr. Moto spy stories, he achieved popular success and critical respect for his satirical novels, winning a Pulitzer Prize for The Late George Apley in 1938. One of his abiding themes was the confining nature of life in America's upper class and among those who aspired to join it. Marquand treated those whose lives were bound by these unwritten codes with a characteristic mix of respect and satire.
By the mid-1930s he was a prolific and successful writer of fiction for slick magazines like the Saturday Evening Post. Some of these short stories were of an historical nature as had been Marquand's first two novels (The Unspeakable Gentleman and The Black Cargo). These would later be characterized by Marquand as “costume fiction”, of which he stated that an author “can only approximate (his characters) provided he has been steeped in the (relevant) tradition”. Marquand had abandoned “costume fiction” by the mid-1930s.
In the late-1930s, Marquand began producing a series of novels on the dilemmas of class, most centered on New England. The first of these, The Late George Apley (1937), a satire of Boston's upper class, won the Pulitzer Prize for the Novel in 1938. Other Marquand novels exploring New England and class themes include Wickford Point (1939), H.M. Pulham, Esquire (1941), and Point of No Return (1949). The last is especially notable for its satirical portrayal of Harvard anthropologist W. Lloyd Warner, whose Yankee City study attempted (and in Marquand's view, dismally failed) to describe and analyze the manners and mores of Marquand's Newburyport.--Wikipedia.
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