Clever Girl is an indelible story of one woman’s life, unfolded in a series of beautifully sculpted episodes that illuminate an era, moving from the 1960s to today, from one of Britain’s leading literary lights—Tessa Hadley—the author of the New York Times Notable Books Married Love and The London Train.
Like Alice Munro and Colm Tóibin, Tessa Hadley brilliantly captures the beauty, innocence, and irony of ordinary lives—an ability to transform the mundane into the sublime that elevates domestic fiction to literary art.
Written with the celebrated precision, intensity, and complexity that have marked her previous works, Clever Girl is a powerful exploration of family relationships and class in modern life, witnessed through the experiences of an English woman named Stella. Unfolding in a series of snapshots, Tessa Hadley’s moving novel follows Stella from the shallows of childhood, growing up with a single mother in a Bristol bedsit in the 1960s, into the murky waters of middle age.
Clever Girl is a story vivid in its immediacy and rich in drama—violent deaths, failed affairs, broken dreams, missed chances. Yet it is Hadley’s observations of everyday life, her keen skill at capturing the ways men and women think and feel and relate to one another, that dazzles.
“Hadley’s voluptuous language gives every little thing an immediacy….Like Joyce at his most coherent and exuberant, each of Hadley’s sentences bristles with life, and every moment has significance.” (Katie Haegele,Philadelphia Inquirer)
“Quietly brilliant….Hadley has always been adept at drawing out the unrecognisable from the everyday….Domestic fiction is often disparaged as less than serious, but Hadley demonstrates admirably that the genre can carry weight.” (Sunday Times, London)
|Whenever you feel bad, remember: Tessa Hadley didn’t believe in her work for twenty years.-millionsmillions|
Tessa Hadley is that rarest of novelists - one who seems happy to discuss both her life and work with equal candour. “I like chatting about my books. Other people’s more - but mine too,” she says cheerfully when we meet on the top floor of a Waterstones in London. “I know it’s cooler to hold something back. J M Coetzee is a wonderfully fluent critic but sees his books as coming from a different place. No talk can replicate that place. One is not an authority on one’s books. You are hoping that what you say is true.”-UnabridgedChick