In her early fifties, Vinnie Miner is the sort of woman no one ever notices, despite her career as an Ivy League professor. Fred is a very handsome 28yo lecturer from Vinnie's department and in Britain to write a book on the eighteenth century poet John Gay but his marriage has broken up on the eve of his departure and he's lonely and depressed. But still, it seems an odd choice somehow. As the heroine of "Foreign Affairs" complains, there is no grand romance in our culture for the middle-aged, only for the young and beautiful. While there is nothing particularly profound about it, it is a very readable, well-paced addition to the 'academics abroad' genre. Fred, meanwhile, falls for a gorgeous aristocratic actress Rosemary while Chuck delves into his English ancestors amd falls deeply for Vinnie. The few older people—especially women—who are allowed into a story are usually cast as relatives; and Vinnie is no one’s mother, daughter, or sister. Report abuse. They may endure these changes nobly or meanly. An academic who specializes in children's literature, Lurie's award winning novel is gleaned from her real life experiences. The author makes a point of telling us that Vinnie is not beautiful — perhaps rather homely — but that she has had her share of affairs nevertheless, and a brief marriage. She is a loner and likes it . And the main character, a 54 year old woman, is a college professor with an established reputation in children's literature. Foreign Affairs follows two professors of English literature at an Ivy League college on study leave in London.Vinnie Miner is a tenured professor, who specializes in children's literature. While an undercurrent of humor is sustained throughout the work, this is not slapstick or uproarious comedy. Two American university colleagues doing research in London get involved in very different affairs in Alison Lurie's charming, impeccably written comedy of manners. Clearly, she "nails" London, but also looks at love from two, diametrically opposite viewpoints. by Thant Myint-U . Despite carrying a U.S. passport, Vinnie feels essentially English and rather looks down on her fellow Americans. Although Fred is very much in love with her, he cannot give her the commitment she wants, since he must return to Corinth to teach summer school. The reader can draw their own conclusions, which I find refreshing. Foreign Affairs is a very good read. The ending is poignant but perfect. Charming, perceptive and told with discreet humour, Foreign Affairs is the Pulitzer Prize winning novel about two American academics on six months study leave in Britain. 1.0 out of 5 stars No. That is not to say that this is mere fluff. She is hoping to produce an important new book about playground rhymes. I lacked this shared world view, its stereotypes of insecure academics, American perceptions of British culture in the late 20th century, middle aged neurosis, etc. Not bad, but definitely DEFINITELY not what you would expect to win the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. Foreign Affairs is a 1984 novel by American writer Alison Lurie, which concerns itself with American academics in England. evolution of a middle-aged woman. . Just a Romance novel with some cynicism thrown in. Foreign Affairs follows two professors of English literature at an Ivy League college on study leave in London.Vinnie Miner is a tenured professor, who specializes in children's literature. Despite carrying a U.S. passport, Vinnie feels essentially English and rather looks down on her fellow Americans. This is an entertaining read. In 1993, Foreign Affairs was made into a TV movie written by Chris Bryant, starring Joanne Woodward, Brian Dennehy and Eric Stoltz. Although she enjoys these flings, she has stopped believing that falling or being in love is a good thing. to these changes? This is rare in many novels but works in Foreign Affairs: A Novel. In the first few pages, I was amused to find one of the two primary characters reading, It was a breath of fresh air to read a story that didn't involve young couples with or without children. The best books we reviewed this year, selected by Foreign Affairs editors and book reviewers. “early childhood she had given her deepest trust, and which for half a century has suggested what she might do, think, feel, desire, and become, has suddenly fallen silent. It was followed by the well-received The Nowhere City (1966) and The War Between the Tates (1974). Humor requires a set of shared assumptions or experiences in order for the ridicule to be perceived as funny. I loved this book, although there was a bitterness to it that stayed after the fun was over. Alison Lurie's "Foreign Affairs" is quite the most witty, poignant and charming book I have read all year. An uninteresting story about unlikable characters, and way too long. Foreign Affairs was one of the first novels to chronicle the sexual. The exquisite but not so young Rosemary has never managed to have a really successful love relationship—though she is not resigned to this, as Vinnie is. That is not to say that this is mere fluff. Sounds like a person I'd like. She has her own demons, including self-pity, but she recognizes her demons and gives them form in a mutt, mainly Welsh terrier, whom she has named Fido. Sounds like a person I'd like. Was she projecting herself onto Vinnie perhaps? Fred is amusing, but it is Vinnie who catches our hearts. But that “Winner of the Pulitzer Prize” at the top sets the expectations pretty high, and this just didn’t live up to them. Clearly, she "nails" London, but also looks at love from two, diametrically opposite viewpoints. 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