Basic Black with Pearls (Paperback)

Basic Black with Pearls Cover Image
By Helen Weinzweig, Sarah Weinman (Introduction by)
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A brilliant, lost feminist classic that is equal parts domestic drama and international intrigue.

Shirley Kaszenbowski, nee Silverberg, is a middle-aged, middle-class woman in a Holt Renfrew tweed coat, a basic black dress, and a strand of real pearls. She may seem ordinary enough, pricing silk scarves at Eaton's or idling in hotel coffee shops, but in fact she is searching for her lover. He is an elusive figure, a man connected with "The Agency," a powerful technocrat who may or may not have suggested a rendezvous based on a secret code in the National Geographic. Her search takes her to the world of her past as a Jewish immigrant in the Spadina-Dundas area of Toronto. She finds the bakeries and rooming houses of her youth still haunted by survivors of postwar Europe and by her own memories of guilt and loss, while the consolations of art, opera, and pornography offer only echoes of her own illusions and desires. Her strange, wryly funny odyssey ends in a dramatic confrontation scene with her husband and "the other woman," as she trades in her basic black for another chance.

In Basic Black with Pearls, Weinzweig displays her gift for creating sympathetic characters in a slightly surreal, but always recognizable world.

About the Author

Helen Weinzweig (1915-2010) was the author of the novels Passing Ceremony and Basic Black with Pearls, winner of a Toronto Book Award. Her short-story collection, A View from the Roof, was short-listed for the Governor General's Literary Award for Fiction. Sarah Weinman is a writer and editor. She recently edited Women Crime Writers: Eight Suspense Novels of the 1940s & 50s and Troubled Daughters, Twisted Wives: Stories from the Trailblazers of Domestic Suspense. Weinman has also written articles for several outlets, including The New Republic and The New York Times Magazine. She lives in New York City.
Product Details
ISBN: 9781681372167
ISBN-10: 1681372169
Publisher: New York Review of Books
Publication Date: April 17th, 2018
Pages: 160
Language: English