FALSE ENTRY by Hortense Calisher

FALSE ENTRY

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KIRKUS REVIEW

An unusual first novel -- connoisseur literature par excellence, as often near shimmering pearls as parody. It is at root a study of American manners during the last forty years, intricately conceived, overladen, perhaps, with themes, employing, in relation to its hero, the double image metaphor. It well may become in literary circles a Celebre various influences will be widely discussed, Proust, James, Eliot, even Virginia Woolfe. Miss Calisher's New Yorker stories will have prepared readers for an elegant directness; it will shock some to find in this longer work stylistic indirectness, a wavering first person narrative tracing the machinations of youth searching for his heritage. Born in England, emigrating to America, settling in the South with his seamstress mother, changing his name and going North for greater social rise -- then returning to lodge his protest in a Kin Klux Klan murder. With the war years he took on yet another role, as friend of the dead son of a rich New York family. He fell in love with one of the daughters who saw through his masks and forced him to face reality. Miss Calisher sees the past as a kind of dollshouse viewed from the present. But despite its shortcomings, False Entry remains one of the few striking fictional achievements within recent times.
Pub Date: Oct. 30th, 1961
ISBN: 1555841961
Page count: 484pp
Publisher: Little, Brown
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 1st, 1961




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