‘One of the best novels about growing up fast’ GUARDIAN
‘One falls for Sally Jay Gorce from a great height from the first sentence’ OBSERVER
‘Scandalous and entertaining . . . Both funny and true’ EVENING STANDARD
The Dud Avocado gained instant cult status on first publication and remains a timeless portrait of a woman hellbent on living.
Sally Jay Gorce is a woman with a mission. It’s the 1950s, she’s young and she’s in Paris. Having dyed her hair pink, she wears evening dresses in the daytime and vows to go native in a way not even the natives can manage. Embarking on an educational programme that includes an affair with a married man (which fizzles out when she realises he’s single and wants to marry her); nights in cabarets and jazz clubs in the company of assorted “citizens of the world”; an entanglement with a charming psychopath and a bit part in a film financed by a famous matador.
But an education like this doesn’t come cheap. Will our heroine be forced back to the States to fulfill her destiny as a librarian, or can she keep up her whirlwind Parisian existence?
Books included in the VMC 40th anniversary series include: Frost in May by Antonia White; The Collected Stories of Grace Paley; Fire from Heaven by Mary Renault; The Magic Toyshop by Angela Carter; The Weather in the Streets by Rosamond Lehmann; Deep Water by Patricia Highsmith; The Return of the Soldier by Rebecca West; Their Eyes Were Watching God by Zora Neale Hurston; Heartburn by Nora Ephron; Memento Mori by Muriel Spark; A View of the Harbour by Elizabeth Taylor; and Faces in the Water by Janet Frame