A celebrated best seller when it was published in 1963, Mary McCarthy's "The Group" has not aged particularly well. Focused on a group (the group of the title) of Vasser grads in NYC in the 1930s, the sex, banter, and discussion of taboo topics like birth control and ethnicity may have been racy in the 60s, but it's a little stale now. It was apparently an inspiration for "Sex and the City." Several interesting facts about McCarthy: She was married to Edmund Wilson, she had a feud with Lillian Hellman, and she was born in Seattle. There's also a film of "The Group."
Published in the early 1960's, this book, which relates the story of a group of friends in the 1930's who'd gone to university together, became a modern classic and stayed on best-seller lists off and on for years. What interested me the most was how much has changed in the intervening years, regarding male-female relationships, social mores, child-rearing and so forth, and also how much has stayed the same!
A sardonic and trenchant read, indeed. A witty look inside the lives of Vassar's class of '33 explicitly exploring love affairs, birth control/body politics, social justice and politics, sexual identity, and more. An engrossing and character-driven treat.
I'd recommend this book for those who enjoy reading about female friendships, as well as people who are interested in social history.
rec. by a patron
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