The Custom of the Country:

By Edith Wharton; Linda Wagner-Martin, Prof (Introduction by); Linda Wagner-Martin, Prof (Notes by)
(Penguin Books, Paperback, 9780143039709, 370pp.)

Publication Date: May 2006

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Description
Considered by many to be her masterpiece, Edith Wharton's second full-length work is a scathing yet personal examination of the exploits and follies of the modern upper class. As she unfolds the story of Undine Spragg, from New York to Europe, Wharton affords us a detailed glimpse of what might be called the interior dEcor of this America and its nouveau riche fringes. Through a heroine who is as vain, spoiled, and selfish as she is irresistibly fascinating, and through a most intricate and satisfying plot that follows Undine's marriages and affairs, she conveys a vision of social behavior that is both supremely informed and supremely disenchanted.

This new edition features a new introduction and explanatory notes and reset text.




About the Author
Edith Wharton was a Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist, known for such classics as The House of Mirth, Ethan Frome, and The Age of Innocence, for which she won the Pulitzer Prize in 1921. A member of the New York elite, Wharton drew on her experiences as part of society to critique its inner workings and the conflict between personal desires and societal norms. Wharton died in 1937, leaving behind a rich literary legacy.

Linda Wagner-Martin is Hanes Professor of English and Comparative Literature at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA. She was the 2011 recipient of the Hubbell Medal for lifetime service in American literature (sponsored by the MLA), and has received the Guggenheim fellowship, the senior National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship, the Bunting Institute fellowship, and awards from the Rockefeller Foundation, the American Philosophical Association and others. She has published more than fifty-five books of criticism, some edited, including "Sylvia Plath: A Biography "(1987) and ""Favored Strangers": Gertrude Stein and Her Family" (1995), as well as studies of Ernest Hemingway, Zelda Fitzgerald, Barbara Kingsolver, and others. Recent books are "A History of American Literature from 1950 to the Present" (2013) and "Toni Morrison and the Maternal" (2014).

Linda Wagner-Martin is Hanes Professor of English and Comparative Literature at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, USA. She was the 2011 recipient of the Hubbell Medal for lifetime service in American literature (sponsored by the MLA), and has received the Guggenheim fellowship, the senior National Endowment for the Humanities fellowship, the Bunting Institute fellowship, and awards from the Rockefeller Foundation, the American Philosophical Association and others. She has published more than fifty-five books of criticism, some edited, including "Sylvia Plath: A Biography "(1987) and ""Favored Strangers": Gertrude Stein and Her Family" (1995), as well as studies of Ernest Hemingway, Zelda Fitzgerald, Barbara Kingsolver, and others. Recent books are "A History of American Literature from 1950 to the Present" (2013) and "Toni Morrison and the Maternal" (2014).


NPR
Tuesday, Mar 23, 2010

Novels of manners never get old. Any quick flip through one of today's celebrity magazines will prove that. From social climbers to spouse grabbers, century to century, nothing changes. Author Helen Simonson offers three novels for going beyond Jane Austen's gossip. More at NPR.org

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