Other Free Encyclopedias » Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern Fiction » Books & Authors: Award-Winning Fiction (Ke-Ma)

Lurie, Alison

academic themselves tates people

(US, 1926– )

Lurie's subject matter, portrayed with humane irony, is the ways in which people fool themselves and each other. The amused detachment with which she writes about her deluded characters has led to her being likened to Jane Austen. An academic herself, she has set most of her novels in academic communities. Possibly her best-known work is The War Between the Tates (1974), which charts, from both the husband and the wife's viewpoints, a crisis in a couple's marriage. The Tates have spent their young adulthood thinking of themselves as attractive, successful, enviable people; Lurie shows the chastening process by which they learn their frailties. Lurie won the Pulitzer Prize with Foreign Affairs (1985), another story of emotional education. Two American academics are in London; one, Fred Turner, has an unhappy affair with a well-heeled and selfish young Englishwoman; the other, Vinnie Miner, finds unexpected happiness with an unintellectual tourist.

Mary McCarthy, Carol Shields, Anne Tyler  NC

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