The Age of Innocence
Newland Archer and May Welland have just announced their engagement to New York society, and the match seems perfect -- until Archer meets Countess Olenska, a sharp, beautiful woman in the midst of a divorce . . . it's for good reason this book won Edith Wharton Pulitzer Prize.
"Is it -- in this world -- vulgar to ask for more? To entreat a little wildness, a dark place or two in the soul?"
"There is no woman in American literature as fascinating as the doomed Madame Olenska. . . . Traditionally, Henry James has always been placed slightly higher up the slope of Parnassus than Edith Wharton. But now that the prejudice against the female writer is on the wane, they look to be exactly what they are: giants, equals, the tutelary and benign gods of our American literature."
"Will writers ever recover that peculiar blend of security and alertness which characterizes Mrs. Wharton and her tradition?"