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HarperFlamingo Canada, 1999 - Fiction - 665 pages
2 Reviews
Light in the Company of Women glittered with turn-of-the-century romance. Hazard Zones resonated with a contemporary exploration of a man's past. Now Gloria -- the newest novel in Keith Maillard's acclaimed Raysburg series -- transports us deep into the 1950s and straight into the heart of a young woman struggling to find her true self.

Her rich father calls his beautiful, brainy daughter "Princess". Her glamorous -- and often jealous -- mother calls her "Princess Priss". Her Big Man On Campus boyfriend calls her his fiancee, until, inexplicably, she calls off the engagement. Only Gloria seems unsure of her true identity. She sees only a dark, rat-faced, neurotic intellectual hiding behind the facade of a clothes-horse debutante.

In this stylish literary novel, richly infused with the mood, mores and fashions of the 1950s, Gloria finds her carefully constructed world beginning to unravel the summer after she graduates from college. In her country club society, women wear girdles, three-inch heels and their boyfriends' fraternity pins, talk endlessly about boys and clothes, but seldom about books or ideas -- Gloria's passions in life. Gloria has become a reluctant expert at preening and pretending her way through this claustrophobic, closeted community, but she must confront darker realities: the smoke-spewing mills that are the source of her father's wealth, the avuncular navy buddy of her father's who stalks her, and her own nightmares.

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User Review  - anissaannalise - LibraryThing

One of the best books I've ever read. Gloria's voice & world are wholly absorbing & I felt everything she did. I was sad when it ended but I know I'll enjoy visiting her again one day. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - pdebolt - LibraryThing

This is a credible and fascinating glimpse into a world that probably no longer exists. The innocence of the '50s juxtaposed with the "sophisticated" main character is compelling. I found her mother ... Read full review

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About the author (1999)

Keith Maillard is the author of nine novels and one book of poetry. His novel "Motet" won the B.C. Book Prize for Fiction; "Hazard Zones" was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Literary Prize; and his 1999 novel, "Gloria", was shortlisted for the Governor General's Award. Born and raised in Wheeling, West Virginia, Maillard teaches creative writing at the University of British Columbia and lives in Vancouver with his wife and two daughters.

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