2010: 17. The Dud Avocado

“It was a hot, peaceful, optimistic sort of day in September.”

The Dud Avocado, Elaine Dundy

      This is an absolutely charming comic novel about a young American girl living on her own in Paris in the 1950’s.  The heroine, Sally Jay Gorce, is an absolute hoot - as the back cover says, “Edith Wharton and Henry James wrote about the American girl abroad, but it was ... Sally Jay Gorce who told us what she was really thinking.”  Which is mostly falling in and out of love, and in and out of affairs (not always with the same people), and dabbling in being an actress, and having ridiculous adventures as she tries to figure out who she is.  And being very, very funny - Sally’s voice is what makes the novel work, that and her absolute freshness - she is frank, and flighty and somehow real, no matter what ridiculous situation she finds herself in.  I don’t know if Dundy wrote other books (I gather this one is a bit of a roman a clef), but if she did, I want to read them, and I have say, I think that in the right hands* this could be a hell of a film.  

Date/Place Completed: February 2010; D.C.

Categories:  Fiction

*But it would have to be the right hands - someone who can write/direct a movie about a woman and make her seem real, not ridiculous or cutesy.  After having seen Whip It this weekend, Drew Barrymore comes to mind, oddly enough (to direct, not play the part).  

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017