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Mary McCarthy: The Group

Mary McCarthy: The Group

UK 2009, 437 pp., brochure,  17.95
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»The Group« is a sharply-pointed satire of upper-class New England society which follows the post-college lives of eight Vassar graduates, class of '33. Helena was registered for Vassar at birth. Pokey forged her mother's signature on her college application. Out in the »real« world, Dottie loses her virginity to a »bad sort« but discovers that she enjoys sex, while Kay subsumes her own talent to the artistic »genius« of her egocentric and philandering husband. Libby writes book reviews that are almost as long as the original material and Polly works as a nurse, while Priss is forced by her pediatrician-husband to go against »tradition« and her inclinations and breastfeed her baby, as proof of his theories. Elinor, the sleek, rich leader of the group, travels about Europe and ultimately returns, full of surprises.