INSIDE OUT by Kathleen Brady


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Even if you find Manhattan fashion reporter Lily Martin a diverting or sympathetic character--which is unlikely--you probably won't want to hear what she is eating, wearing, and thinking every minute of the day. But that, unfortunately, is what first-novelist Brady provides in this astonishingly thin, self-conscious and twittery present-tense chronicle of a career gal raising her consciousness about half a notch. ""Things are happening in this country and I'm writing about shirts and handbags!"" So walls Lily, when she isn't telling us, archly, about her alarm clock (""What is it? What is that tinny wail? Oh, it's the alarm clock exerting its cogs and screws""), her subway tokens (""I buy three of the little disks""), her coffee breaks, and her brief, bad affair with a married reporter from Atlanta: ""I, Lillian Martin, don't-tread-on-me independent woman, am tickled by the stereotypical TV commercial type American male."" Passed over for a promotion and having endured a quickie abortion (""I am Lillian Martin, among her sisters""), Lily considers moving back to comfy Buffalo, but soon New York offers a new hairstyle (""I do love my new look"") and a chance to shift from fashion to the business page. Whoopee. Brady's sardonic comments on the couture biz are mildly amusing when not over-deliberate (""the world of fashion consists of people in awe of a sequin""), but they're not nearly zippy enough to compensate for narcissistic Lily's, mannered and shallow effusions.

Pub Date: Jan. 22nd, 1978
Publisher: Norton