The Man Who Loved Children by Christina Stead ; Introduction by Randall Jarrell
New York : Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1976. Stated "Second edition, fifth printing 1976" on the copyright page. Hardcover. 527 pages ; 21 cm. Price clipped dust jacket. Very good + copy. Slight lean to spine. Firm binding. Clean and unmarked pages.
THE MAN WHO LOVED CHILDREN
"One of the best novels of this century" —Walter demons, Newsweek
The Man Who Loved Children introduces the chilling world of the Pollits: After ten years of marriage, Sam and Henny Poll it has too many children, barely enough money, and a surfeit of loathing for each other. As Sam spouts his insufferable optimistic aphorisms, using his children's adoration to shore up his voracious ego, Henny watches in bleak despair, knowing the reality that lies just beneath Sam's mad visions. "The war between man and woman has never been more mercilessly, comically, compassionately recreated," wrote Annie Gottlieb in Viva. "Christina Stead's writing is witchy, stormy, tempestuous, abandoned, yet always precise and ironic—the headlong sure-footedness of genius, blending momentum and control."
First published in 1940, the novel was largely ignored save by a coterie of ardent admirers. Its republication in 1965 greatly enlarged that coterie, bringing a whole new generation the opportunity to savor the novel's remarkable power and the author's equally remarkable talents. A work the Saturday Review called "among the most strange and powerful achievements of literary realism in our time," The Man Who Loved Children is today recognized as a contemporary classic.
"The Man Who Loved Children must be a classic, for there are very few novels in English that are as large and as beautifully written."—Robert Lowell
"Reading and re-reading The Man Who Loved Children was and is and will always be an experience of the greatest possible pleasure."—Jean Stafford
"The book is a genuine novel in the traditional meaning of the term; it is a story of life, faithfully plotted, clearly told, largely peopled with real souls, genuine problems; it is realistically set, its intention and drive are openly and fully revealed; it is also a work of absolute originality."—Elizabeth Hardwick
Rebecca West called her "one of the few people really original we have produced since the First World War." And Clifton Fadiman said she is "the most extraordinary woman novelist produced by the English-speaking race since Virginia Woolf." Now in her seventies, Christina Stead lives in Australia. Among her other books are The Little Hotel, House of All Nations, Dark Places of the Heart, and For Love Alone, o say that Christina Stead writes well verges on he impertinent; what is basically the plain style of English expository fiction has rarely been rendered with such originality, given such continuously absorbing texture." — Stephen Koch, Saturday Review
"She falls somewhere between Virginia Woolf and Colette. Christina Stead has perhaps been slow to win a wide circle of admirers. But her kind of perceptiveness is rare, and her fame will continue to spread." —Victor Howes, The Christian Science Monitor
"Her work has reminded many of Tolstoy, Ibsen, Joyce—any tag to signify that the reader is offered breadth of vision and honest depth of enjoyment, with neither sacrificed to the other." — Hortense Calisher, The New York Times Book Review
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