Rachel Cooke's introduction to Elaine Dundy's uproarious novel, The Dud Avocado, was featured in the Guardian at the weekend. If you haven't read it yet, now is the time! Groucho Marx approved, so it must be funny: 'The Dud Avocado made me laugh, scream and guffaw (which, incidentally, is a great name for a law firm).'
Sally Jay Gorce, the clever, funny, good-looking and mildly disorganised heroine of Elaine Dundy's first and best novel, is most often compared to Truman Capote's Holly Golightly, a character who is her exact contemporary in publication terms (The Dud Avocado and Breakfast at Tiffany's appeared, to rave reviews, in 1958). Only a fool could fail to see why. Both girls are witty, tenacious, ardent, wide-eyed and strangely perceptive. But tell me this: which one would you want to be your pal? Answer: Gorce, of course! She's a complicated hoot … The novel is the real deal: a comfort read for sure, because we have all been young, and made mistakes, and woken up in the bed of the wrong man with panda eyes and only inappropriate shoes in which to travel home. But also a trail blazer. Sally Jay Gorce precedes Anne Welles and Jennifer North (Valley of the Dolls), Isadora Wing (Fear of Flying) and Carrie Bradshaw (Sex and the City) by many years and is funnier than all four of them put together. Read the whole article
The Dud Avocado was reissued this month in hardback in the Virago Modern Classics, featuring a cover by Lucienne Day.
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