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Manhattan Monologues
by Louis Auchincloss
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Company 2002
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He is our sublime master of manners, our "most astute observer of moral paradox among the affluent" (Arthur Schlesinger, Jr.), and "one of the essential American writers" (Kirkus). Now, in his fifty-seventh book, Louis Auchincloss delivers a brilliant collection of ten new, previously unpublished, stories; once again, he unfailingly "voices truths with elegant precision" (Publishers Weekly). MANHATTAN MONOLOGUES charts a colorful New York century through a series of personal accounts from the rarefied circle that fills Auchincloss's best short fiction. Here are characters who confidently finesse their way through society's uppermost tiers and yet are just as easily undone by the smallest upset in a day. Like all of Auchincloss's richest creations, they bump up against their consciences, with often surprising results. What, for instance, is a woman to do when she must choose between true love and high society when making a marriage? How can a man stay true to himself, his family, and his country when it goes to war? How can a determined marriage broker salvage matters when the young man she has so painstakingly steered toward a love match becomes charmed by another woman? These tales, and many more, fashion a glamorous, yet all too human, societal portrait -- from the aristocratic loyalties of the early twentieth century to the complicated twists of modern-day mergers and acquisitions. MANHATTAN MONOLOGUES is Louis Auchincloss at his most clever, his most discerning, his best.

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