His Monkey Wife
His Monkey Wife
Or, Married to a Chimp
Paul Dry Books, Paperback, 9780966491333, 214pp.
Publication Date: May 1, 2000
-A work of genius---The Boston Globe
-From the first sentence of the novel the reader is aware that he is in the presence of a magician... Collier] casts a spell and he does so always with a smile.---Paul Theroux
-A wayward masterpiece...Whatever this volume has cost you, it is, believe me, a great bargain.---Anthony Burgess
-It is impossible to convey the subtle wit which makes you laugh out loud, the beauty and penetrating satire which blend so perfectly into its brilliance.---Booklist
-The whole is written with sly humor throughout and is illuminated by splendid similes and metaphors which mark the author as a true humorist.---New York Times
In the author's own words: -This is a strange book...an emotional melodrama, complete with a Medusa villainess, an honest simpleton of a hero, and an angelic if only anthropoid heroine, all functioning in the two dimensional world of the old Lyceum poster or the primitive fresco...where an angel may outsize a church, and where a man may marry a monkey on a foggy day.---from John Collier's -A Looking Glass-
When Alfred Fatigay returns to his native London, he brings along his trustworthy pet chimpanzee Emily who, unbeknownst to Fatigay, has become civilized: literate, literary--and in love with Fatigay himself. After Emily meets Alfred's fiancee Amy Flint, a 1920's -modern woman, - she sets out to save her beloved from Amy's cold grip. -Emily is the perfect outside observer, - writes Eva Brann in her introduction, -because she is an African in Europe, a female in a man's world, a servant to liberated sophisticates, and above all an old-fashioned creature in a modern world.-
John Collier (1901-1980) was born in Britain, but spent much of his life in the U.S., where he wrote screenplays for Hollywood (The African Queen, Sylvia Scarlet, and I Am a Camera among them) and short stories for the New Yorker and other magazines. He was also a poet, editor, and reviewer.