Thursday, July 9, 2009
There is a reason Elinor Lipman gets compared to Jane Austen – like Austen, she can dissect a closed community down to its bones, but is so charming and witty about it that the process looks easy and her thoroughness is only admired in later musings.
In My Latest Grievance, Lipman turns her keen eye on academia with the story of Frederica Hatch’s unconventional upbringing at Dewing College in the late 1970s. Born to a duo of bleeding heart professors-turned-dorm-parents and union activists, Frederica is raised in the dorm of their minor all-girls college in Brookline, Massachusetts. When her father’s ex-wife finagles her way into a Dorm Mother job and the bed of the college President, Dewing will never be the same.
With Frederica’s as the beguiling narrator and Lipman’s wit flowing, My Latest Grievance is a novel of contemporary manners not to be missed.
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