192 Books will host A DISCUSSION OF MARY MCCARTHY And Her Recently Re-released Novella, The Oasis on Tuesday, June 18, 7PM
The Oasis (Melville House, 2013) by Mary McCarthy, Introduction by Vivian Gornick
VIVIAN GORNICK in conversation with ROCHELLE GURSTEIN
Long out of print, Mary McCarthy’s second novel is a bitingly funny satire set in the early years of the Cold War about a group of writers, editors, and intellectuals who retreat to rural New England to found a hilltop utopia.
Though written as a roman à clef, McCarthy barely disguised her characters, including using her former lover Philip Rahv, founder of Partisan Review, as the model for Will Taub. As a result, the novel caused an absolute explosion of outrage among the literary elite of the day, who clearly recognized themselves among her all-too-accurate portraits. Never one to shy away from controversy, McCarthy’s portrait of her generation had indeed drawn blood. But the brilliance of the novel has outlasted its first detonation and can now be enjoyed for its aphoritic, fearless dissection of the vanities of human endeavor.
Vivian Gornick and Rochelle Gurstein will discuss McCarthy’s experiences at the Partisan Review – from which the book emerged – as well as more general thoughts on her writings, legacy, and significance in American and literary history.
Vivian Gornick is an essayist and critic. She is the author of many books, including The End of the Novel of Love, a National Book Critic’s Circle Award finalist, Fierce Attachments: A Memoir, and The Men in My Life.
Rochelle Gurstein is the author of The Repeal of Reticence: A History of America’s Cultural and Legal Struggles over Free Speech, Sexual Liberation, and Modern Art. She writes a regular column for the New Republic On-Line and has contributed essays to Salmagundi, Raritan, The American Scholar, Bookforum, and other “little magazines.”
192 Books is located at 192 10th Avenue at 21st, New York, New York