Mary McCarthy’s The Group, Hilton Als’s “The Women,” and Bridesmaids: My August Column at Bookslut

Mary McCarthy’s The Group is a book I’ve always meant to read but never managed to pick up. McCarthy’s name has never quite made it onto the essential American women writers hit list along with, say, Edith Wharton, Flannery O’Connor, Carson McCullers, and Eudora Welty. Perhaps this is because of McCarthy’s reputation as “a viperously clever but minor writer” who had too many “indiscreet affairs,” according to critic Larissa MacFarquhar. The Group, the story of the post-college decade of eight Vassar class of 1933 graduates, was published to abundant praise in 1963 and spent two years on the bestseller list. But it was also damned by Norman Podhoretz as “a trivial lady writer’s novel” and Norman Mailer famously pilloried it in The New York Review of Books.

Click her to read the full article at Bookslut

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3 Replies to “Mary McCarthy’s The Group, Hilton Als’s “The Women,” and Bridesmaids: My August Column at Bookslut”

  1. Great column. It’s rumored that one of the women I worked with years ago at TIME was one of the orginal “Group.” Have no way to verify that, but always found the notion intriguing. Love the “dick lit” rejoinder to “chick lit.” You’re such a wonderful writer.

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