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Basic Black With Pearls by Helen Weinzweig
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Basic Black With Pearls

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Basic Black With Pearls by Helen Weinzweig
Paperback $14.95
Apr 17, 2018 | ISBN 9781681372167

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    Apr 17, 2018 | ISBN 9781681372167

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  • Apr 17, 2018 | ISBN 9781681372174

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“As dazzlingly splintered and disorienting as a hall of mirrors, this marvelously inventive sleight-of-pen fantasy may (or may not) represent the jagged self-image of a middle-aged Canadian housewife….heavy on scenes from a rotten childhood and lightly dipped in madness—all of it delivered with spotlight-sharp images and iron-grey wit. Glittering, uncomfortable, one-of-a-kind fiction.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Celebrated in Canada as a feminist classic, Weinzweig’s searing 1980 novel captures a woman’s awakening to her lover’s exploitation….Weinzweig’s prose style is sharp, particularly her dialogue: strange and surprising, it knocks every character interaction askew.” —Publishers Weekly

“Weinzweig’s absurdist take on the existential novel anchored by female experience should be required reading.” —Emily M. Keeler, National Post

“Helen Weinzweig is a crafty writer, with a sure sense of timing; when the narrator finally manages to turn her back on her nightmares and pipe dreams, it is a happy ending that rings true.” —The New Yorker

“Helen Weinzweig’s voice is original, her language startling and graceful, and the story she tells is as moving as a second chance. Basic Black with Pearls is a portrait of madness and delight—sensitive, funny and unique.”—Alice Hoffman

Basic Black with Pearls is certainly a text worthy of a revisit, its theme of the danger of a limited life sadly as blisteringly significant as it was 35 years ago. The novel offers little resolution, and even less clarity, making it an all the more authentic commentary on the trappings of domestic, suburban life. The reader is left uncomfortable, disturbed and as lost as Shirley is—which is, perhaps, the most potent way Weinzweig could deliver her feminist message.” —Stacey May

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