Evan S. Connell's Mr Bridge is a moving and darkly funny portrayal of a man who is outwardly successful but internally stunted by existential doubts, repressed sexual yearnings and deep-seated prejudices.
Fans of Jonathan Franzen and Richard Yates will enjoy Connell's pitch-perfect portrayal of marriage and family life, and this new Penguin Classics edition also includes an introduction by Lionel Shriver, author of We Need to Talk About Kevin.
Walter Bridge, husband to India and father to three, is a successful lawyer in a Kansas suburb.
The daily dramas of his life only serve to illuminate his prejudice, self-doubts and dreary existence - his Christmas gifts to the family are stock certificates, which he immediately takes back to manage on their behalf - yet he is also kind and charitable, loving his wife while never able to tell her so.
In Mr Bridge, Evan S. Connell gives us a moving, satirical and poetic portrayal of a man who cannot escape his limitations, and a couple growing old together but unable, ultimately, to connect. The companion novel, Mrs Bridge, telling the story from the other side of the marriage, is published in Penguin Modern Classics with an introduction by Joshua Ferris, author of Then We Came to the End and The Unnamed.
Evan S. Connell was born in Kansas City in 1924. He served in the US navy in the second world war and lived briefly in Paris before returning to the US, where he wrote an incredibly varied range of books and supported himself with odd jobs.
In 2009, he was nominated for the Man Booker International Prize for lifetime achievement, and in 2010, he was awarded a Los Angeles Times Book Prize.
Connell died in New Mexico on 10th January 2013, aged 88. "Mr Bridge is a tour-de-force of contemporary American realism, a beautiful work of fiction". (Life). "With a delicate and subtle irony, Mr Connell shows us, first from her, then from his point of view, the little daily dramas of this ordinary family.
It is very, very funny, often moving and sad, and written with an uncompromising realism that one rarely comes across.
To me the Bridges were a revelation: I cannot recommend them too highly". (Daily Telegraph).
- Format: Paperback
- Pages: 304 pages
- Publisher: Penguin Books Ltd
- Publication Date: 22/01/2013
- Category: Modern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
- ISBN: 9780141198668