The Custom of the Country
Publication Date: February 2000
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(Applause Books). This brilliantly crafted stage version of Wharton's sprawling novel dissecting the New York social scene focuses on the beautiful, but predatory, Undine Spragg and the men in her life. Representing a world motivated by a heartless desire for power and status, Undine takes on lovers and husbands, discarding them when her whims of iron move her. Hitchcock has captured the satiric brilliance of the original work, while managing to transform a narrative of over 500 pages into a tightly-wrought stage piece. In the process, she provides a finely-drawn portrait of an unforgettable heroine against the background of a cruel social milieu dominated by rigid class distinctions and deeply-ingrained prejudices. "A luminous adaptation." Boston Globe