Fanny: A Fiction

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Chatto & Windus, 2003 - Feminists - 326 pages
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"This is a marvellously spirited, hilarious and touching historical novel - a spoof biography, written by the aging Fanny Trollope, of her frien the Scottish radical and feminist Fanny Wright (born in Dundee and brought up partly in Glasgow). From the start, our narrator is enthralled, but also baffled, by her dashing heroine, who burst into her life as a young woman, red hair flying, spouting utopian ideals. The infatuated Mrs Trollope follows her idol first to France in the 1820s, where Fanny Wright has an affair with Lafayette, then to America, where Fanny meets Jefferson (another implied affair), and becomes dedicated to the abolition of slavery. When Fanny sets up an utopian commune in Mississippi, poor Mrs Trollope and her son and a French artist go out to join her: but instead of a paradise they find a version of hell. More adventures follow, taking both women across land and sea to fulfil their contrasting destinies. This is a story packed with comic incident, strange characters and vivid setting, from Scottish tenements, English drawing-rooms and Parisian salons, to the mud of the Mississippi and the colour and noise of Haiti As Fanny Trollope sits in her Florentine

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About the author (2003)

Edmund White's novels include A Boy's Own Story, Farewell Symphony and A Married Man. A well-known critic, he is also the author of an acclaimed biography of Jean Genet. After living in Paris for many years, he is now settled in New York, and teaches at Princeton University.

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