Evan S. Connell
Evan S. Connell’s Mrs Bridge is an extraordinary tragicomic portrayal of suburban life and one of the classic American novels of the twentieth century.
Mrs Bridge, an unremarkable and conservative housewife in Kansas City, has three children and a kindly lawyer husband. She spends her time shopping, going to bridge parties and bringing up her children to be pleasant, clean and have nice manners. And yet she finds modern life increasingly baffling, her children aren’t growing up into the people she expected, and sometimes she has the vague disquieting sensation that all is not well in her life. In a series of comic, telling vignettes, Evan S. Connell illuminates the narrow morality, confusion, futility and even terror at the heart of a life of plenty.
The companion novel Mr Bridge, telling the story from the other side of the marriage, is also available in Penguin Modern Classics.
‘A perfect novel … Its tone – knowing, droll, plaintive, shuttling rapidly between pain and hilarity – elevates it to its own kind of specialness … One of those books that can suffuse a room with happiness when someone brings it up’ Meg Wulitzer, The New York Times
‘Intimate … affecting … a very funny book’ Joshua Ferris
An exquisite mixture of sympathy and ironic detachment ... Connell's writing has a terse, hard-bitten flavour, but the chapters tend to resolve themselves into resonant, Austen-like aphorisms: "While marriage might be an equitable affair, love itself was not" * Independent * Evan S. Connell's portrayal of the decline and fall of a 1950s Kansas City housewife charts perfectly the tragedy of the unexamined life * Observer * Connell never mocks or condescends, but wrings every drop of comedy and pathos from his hidebound heroine's predicament * Sunday Telegraph * Intimate ... affecting ... very funny ... Mrs Bridge is a reflection of you and me, an exemplar of our shared humanity -- Joshua Ferris, author of 'Then We Came to the End' and 'The Unnamed' Written from a kind of tilted, ironic angle, it's often very funny... and if this were all Mrs Bridge was, it would still be one of the sharper novels about mid-20th-century domestic life. But Mrs Bridge is so much more than that...It's a book that is smart and knowing and makes its reader feel as if they're in on a joke, while at the same time gradually coaxing them to feel more and more empathy for its vaguely absurd main character, and ultimately playing them like an emotional Stradivarius * Guardian * It is very, very funny, often moving and sad, and written with an uncompromising realism that one rarely comes across. To me the Bridges were a revelation: I cannot recommend them too highly * Daily Telegraph * How it is done I only wish I knew -- Dorothy Parker * Esquire * This is the first time that I have finished reading something and then immediately returned to the beginning to read it again. It's incredible. It's one of the best books I've ever read -- Ross Raisin, author of 'God's Own Country' and 'Waterline' If you have already read it, that's wonderful, for chances are you love it too, and know how brilliant it is. And if you haven't read it, or perhaps have never even heard of it, well, that's wonderful too, because you are still lucky enough to be able to read it for the first time ... A perfect novel ... What writing! Economical, piquant, beautiful, true .... Mrs Bridge is one of those books that can suffuse a room with happiness when someone brings it up -- Meg Wolitzter * The New York Times *
Book experts at your service
What are you looking for?