"Sex in the City" the movie comes out this month, the same month that Elaine Dundy, the author of The Dud Avocado (credited for starting the single-girl-in-the-city genre), died of a heart attack. If you haven't read it, you're missing a vibrant description of Paris in the 1950's, narrated by a passionate, brainy and naive 23 year old girl. You're missing a wandering, wondering Daisy Miller, if James had allowed Daisy an authentic voice. Coincidently, I'm in the middle of reading it through for the second time - both times I've been impressed at how Dundy's character personifies what it's like to be young and pushing yourself (and those around you) in a million directions. I'm looking forward to reading her exclamation-marked memoir, Life Itself (!), when I get the chance. Cheers to the memory of Dundy, someone who saw the humor and abilities that come with being young and female and finding your own way.
(From her obituary) "It seems to me that the American girl has changed tremendously from the Scott Fitzgerald, Hemingway days, and that this change has not yet been recorded, at least to my satisfaction," Ms. Dundy once said. She later complained that critics failed to credit her heroine's orgasm as an important first step toward the frank treatment of female sexuality in fiction. For another interesting article on Dundy's own troubled love-life, click here.