Dawn Powell: Novels 1930-1942 (Loa #126): Dance Night / Come Back To Sorrento / Turn, Magic Wheel / Angels On Toast / A Time To Be Born (Library Of America)
Publish Date: 2001-09-10
Author: Dawn Powell
Dawn Powella vital part of literary Greenwich Village from the 1920s through the 1960swas the tirelessly observant chronicler of two very different worlds: the small-town Ohio where she grew up and the sophisticated Manhattan to which she gravitated. If her Ohio novels are more melancholy and compassionate, her Manhattan novels, exuberant and incisive, sparkle with a cast of writers, show people, businessmen, and hustling hangers-on. All show rich characterization and a flair for the gist of complex social situations. A playful satirist, an unsentimental observer of failed hopes and misguided longings, Dawn Powell is a literary rediscovery of rare importance. In this, one of two volumes collecting nine novels, The Library of America presents the best of Powells fiction.
Dance Night(1930), Powells own favorite among her works, is a surprisingly frank treatment of obsessive longing set in an Ohio factory town during the 1920s.Come Back to Sorrento(1932; originally published asThe Tenth Moon), a compelling study of frustrated aspirations, tells the story of a woman whose friendship with a music teacher awakens her sense of her lifes wasted potential.
WithTurn, Magic, Wheel(1936), a whirlwind tour of Manhattans literary world, Powell reinvented herself as a satirical writer. Her treatment of the city of perpetual distraction captures the allure of Manhattan with a lightness and wit to be found in all her New York novels.Angels on Toast(1940), whose farcical pace recalls screwball comedy, is a shrewd portrait of the adulterous misadventures of two salesmen. InA Time To Be Born(1942), set during the months before Americas entry into World War II, Powell portrays the monstrously egotistical Amanda Keeler Evansone of her most wickedly barbed creations.