Welcome to Malvern Books’ Club: Reading Classics from New York Review Books, hosted (on most occasions) by Malvern’s own curmudgeon-in-chief, Dr. Joe. Everyone is invited to join us for what we’re sure will be a series of irreverent and insightful conversations.
This month’s selection is Penelope Mortimer’s The Pumpkin Eater, a surreal black comedy about the wages of adulthood.
A strange, fresh, gripping book. One of the the many achievements of The Pumpkin Eater is that it somehow manages to find universal truths in what was hardly an archetypal situation: Mortimer peels several layers of skin off the subjects of motherhood, marriage, and monogamy, so that what we’re asked to look at is frequently red-raw and painful without being remotely self-dramatizing. In fact, there’s a dreaminess to some of the prose that is particularly impressive, considering the tumult that the book describes. —Nick Hornby, The Believer
The NYRB Classics series started in 1999 with the publication of A High Wind in Jamaica and by the end of this year over 400 titles will be in print—so we have plenty of excellent reading material to choose from. The series includes nineteenth-century and experimental novels, reportage and belles lettres, established classics and cult favorites, and literature high, low, unsuspected, and unheard of. Literature in translation also constitutes a major part of the NYRB Classics series, including new translations of canonical figures such as Euripides, Aeschylus, Dante, Balzac, Nietzsche, and Chekhov, as well as fresh translations of Stefan Zweig, Robert Walser, Alberto Moravia, and Curzio Malaparte, among others.
How it works:
Stop by Malvern Books to sign up and you’ll receive a 10% discount off the title! Read the book and then come to the meeting prepared with either a question or specific passage to discuss with the group. We’ll look forward to seeing you to discuss a NYRB classic!