The People with the Dogs

Christina Stead
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ISBN 9780571259670 Format Paperback
Published 18/02/2010 Length 350 pages

About Book

The People with the Dogs, first published in 1952, is set in America, and has been described as Christina Stead's 'most amiable novel and one of her least appreciated.' In Edward Massine it also boasts one of her 'most attractive male characters' who defines his condition appealingly as a state of 'undefined hesitant anticipation.'

Home from the Second World War Edward Massine rests contentedly in the ample bosom of his family: doting aunts, eccentric uncles and many cousins - comfortable, indolent Liberals of the old school. Theirs is a delightful world of holidays, animals and afternoon tea. Always complaisant, Edward is the last of the line, the perfect relative - to the Massines almost as precious a possession as their beloved dogs. But even benevolent love can suffocate and destroy: it takes death, betrayal and a new independent love for Edward to break the fetters of family life and assert himself as a passionate individual.

Angela Carter described Christina Stead as 'a deeply accomplished and entirely individual writer', an accolade that is amply attested to in this fine, satiric but affectionate novel.

It is a part of the Faber Finds Christina Stead reissue programme, the full list of titles being: The Beauties and Furies, For Love Alone, Letty Fox, The People with the Dogs, A Little Tea, A Little Chat, Miss Herbert (the Suburban Wife), The Puzzleheaded Girl, The Salzburg Tales.

  • About Christina Stead

    Christina Stead (1902-1983) was an Australian-born novelist and short-story writer acclaimed for her satirical wit and penetrating psychological characterisations. She wrote fifteen novels and several volumes of short stories in her lifetime, during which she spent many years living abroad in Europe and the USA, returning to Australia to live only late in life. Considered by many to have been one of Australia's greatest novelists, Stead's best-known and most acclaimed novel, The Man Who Loved Children, is largely based on her own childhood, and was first published in 1940.

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