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Foreign Affairs | [Alison Lurie]

Foreign Affairs

Virginia Miner, a 50-something, unmarried tenured professor, is in London to work on her new book about children's folk rhymes. Despite carrying a U.S. passport, Vinnie feels essentially English and rather looks down on her fellow Americans. But in spite of that, she is drawn into a mortifying and oddly satisfying affair with an Oklahoman tourist who dresses more Bronco Billy than Beau Brummel.
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Publisher's Summary

Virginia Miner, a 50-something, unmarried tenured professor, is in London to work on her new book about children's folk rhymes. Despite carrying a U.S. passport, Vinnie feels essentially English and rather looks down on her fellow Americans. But in spite of that, she is drawn into a mortifying and oddly satisfying affair with an Oklahoman tourist who dresses more Bronco Billy than Beau Brummel.

Also in London is Vinnie's colleague, Fred Turner, a handsome, flat broke, newly separated, and thoroughly miserable young man trying to focus on his own research. Instead, he is distracted by a beautiful and unpredictable English actress and the world she belongs to. Both American, both abroad, and both achingly lonely, Vinnie and Fred play out their confused alienation and dizzying romantic liaisons in Alison Lurie's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel. Smartly written, poignant, and witty, Foreign Affairs remains an enduring comic masterpiece.

©2006 Alison Lurie (P)2011 Audible, Inc.

What the Critics Say

  • Pulitzer Prize, Fiction, 1984

"A splendid comedy, very bright, brilliantly written in a confident and original manner. The best book by one of our finest writers." (Elizabeth Hardwick)

"If you manage to read only a few good novels a year, make this one of them." (USA Today)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.3 (56 )
5 star
 (10)
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 (13)
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 (20)
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 (9)
1 star
 (4)
Overall
3.3 (39 )
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 (10)
4 star
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1 star
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Story
3.7 (40 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Margaret Alameda, CA, United States 03-16-12
    Margaret Alameda, CA, United States 03-16-12 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    790
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    96
    73
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    119
    10
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Fascinating"
    Any additional comments?

    I don't remember what attracted me to this title, probably the Pulitzer Prize in 1985. But, now I'm reading all of Alison Lurie's novels and it turns out there is one family that connects the books so it's worth the effort to read them in sequence. I wish I'd realized that because Foreign Affairs is somewhere in the middle, though it works as a stand alone novel as well. Beautifully written.

    7 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Forest Guthrie, OK, United States 09-08-13
    Forest Guthrie, OK, United States 09-08-13 Member Since 2013
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    19
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Clever Title"
    If you could sum up Foreign Affairs in three words, what would they be?

    Characters diverse and interesting


    What was one of the most memorable moments of Foreign Affairs?

    When one character had been posing as two.


    Did the narration match the pace of the story?

    Yes


    Who was the most memorable character of Foreign Affairs and why?

    The actress


    Any additional comments?

    Yes- I am submitting this review only because it,s important that your narrators pronounce locations, people,s names etc. properly. In the age of the Internet , it is inexcusable, it would take two minutes to find out how the composer Purcell is said and Muskogee as in the turnpike. Very unprofessional and downright lazy!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 1-2 of 2 results
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  • Alison
    Burnham-on-Sea, United Kingdom
    6/18/12
    Overall
    "An old favourite"

    I read this book and all AL's books when I was teenager and in my 20s - some time ago! Sometimes old favourites don't stand the test of time but this one did. The narration is clipped and sharp, and this slightly put me off at the start as the voice wasn't how imagined the main character at all - but in fact it was perfect. The story is quite slight but the plot isn't the chief reason for reading books like these. The observational style and witty though often moving content is the point. I loved the tension between two national cultures, England and the USA, seen through the eyes of the Americans in London. A very enjoyable listen.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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