The Unpossessed: A Novel of the Thirties (Revised)

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$22.95  $21.34
New York Review of Books
Publish Date
6.08 X 7.6 X 0.84 inches | 0.85 pounds

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About the Author
Tess Slesinger (1905-1945) grew up in New York in a progressive assimilated Jewish family and attended Swarthmore College and the Columbia University School of Journalism. After a few short-term jobs in journalism, she married Herbert Solow, editor of the Menorah Journal, through whom she became acquainted with the leading young, leftist intellectuals of the time, including Lionel Trilling and Clifton Fadiman. In addition to The Unpossessed, her only published novel, Slesinger's writing credits include one book of short stories, Time: the Present, and several screenplays, including The Good Earth and A Tree Grows in Brooklyn.

Elizabeth Hardwick (1916-2007) was born in Lexington, Kentucky, and educated at the University of Kentucky and Columbia University. A recipient of a Gold Medal from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, she is the author of three novels, a biography of Herman Melville, and four collections of essays. She was a co-founder and advisory editor of The New York Review of Books and contributed more than one hundred reviews, articles, reflections, and letters to the magazine. NYRBClassics publishes Sleepless Nights, a novel, and Seduction and Betrayal, a study of women in literature.
"Unlike so many other thirties novels, The Unpossessed treats the "topical" themes of its age as subsets of a much larger, more abiding theme in literature: the folly of all human (and particularly of pompous intellectual) endeavor that aims at imposing a rational direction on something as incorrigibly messy as history. Slesinger's note--perfect depiction of this folly gives The Unpossessed its irresistible narrative energy." -- The Atlantic Monthly

"It's sophisticated...full of cutting observations and over--eager images; satiric, then ecstatic, alternating social criticism with displays of sexual and intellectual coquetry." -- The Village Voice

"The farce--or is it the tragedy?--of New York leftist intellectuals done in by free love is gleefully taken up in The Unpossessed..." -- Publishers Weekly

"Miss Slesinger's radicalism had somewhat the flavor of Dorothy Parker's; it was disabused, worldly, and tended to view social man as a collection of hollow, wordy grotesques. Thus the class war is transformed in her novel very largely into a war of the sexes." -- Robert Adams, The New York Review of Books