By Joanna Kavenna
(Metropolitan Books, Hardcover, 9780805081893, 304pp.)
Publication Date: May 29, 2007
Other Editions of This Title: Paperback
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A darkly comic novel about a woman on the edge of a nervous breakdown, set against the backdrop of a London awash with faithless lovers, cutthroat strivers, and so-called friends One day successful young journalist and dedicated urbanite Rosa Lane sends her boss an e-mail that says "I quit" and then walks out of her job. She can't explain why--not to Liam, who's lived with her for years; not to her friends; not to her anxious, recently widowed father. All Rosa knows is that she needs to find enlightenment, to somehow understand her mother's death and do more than just earn her living.
Thus begins the piercingly wise and bitingly funny odyssey of Rosa Lane. Along the way, she is deceived by her lover, evicted by her roommate, threatened by her bank manager, picked over by prospective employers, befuddled by philosophy, and tormented by omnivorous London. Brought very low indeed, Rosa in her desperation makes a final assault on those who have done her wrong, leading to the beginning of her return to normality--whatever that is.
In a remarkable fiction debut, Joanna Kavenna displays lacerating wit, a perfect eye for social hypocrisies, and great depths of compassion to create a triumphant modern heroine.
Joanna Kavenna was born and raised in the United Kingdom, and has spent some years living in the United States and various parts of Europe. Her first book, The Ice Museum, was short-listed for the Ondaatje Prize. Her writing has appeared in the London Review of Books, the Times Literary Supplement, and the International Herald Tribune, among other publications.
"The downward spiral of a breakdown begins ever so slowly. You turn, you slip, and you turn again, and then you start hurtling from basement to sub-basement to lower levels 3 and 4. Inglorious is simply stunning. Honest, brilliant, arresting, and barefisted--for the blows come hard. But it is also a work of art: tart, wise, human, funny, and best of all, without the least trace of sentiment. Kavenna finds humor in the abyss, light in the dark, and ultimately exhilaration at the end of the tunnel."--André Aciman, author of Call Me By Your Name "Joanna Kavenna's writing is full of wit and wisdom in glorious proportion."--Aleksandar Hemon, author of Nowhere Man