Thursday, December 13, 2012

Top 10 literary party hosts

Suzette Field is The Tribune of The Last Tuesday Society. One of her earliest memories is sitting on Michael Jackson's lap in his studio while he was recording Thriller. She is the author of A Curious Invitation: The 40 Greatest Parties in Literature, which is naturally on the subject of parties, as seen through the eyes of literary luminaries.

One of her top ten literary party hosts, as told to the Guardian:
Mrs Dalloway in Mrs Dalloway by Virginia Woolf

The wife of a Conservative MP, Clarissa Dalloway is the heroine of Virginia Woolf's life-in-a-day novel. The "perfect hostess" of 1920s London, she spends her day buying flowers, sewing her dress, having a rest on the sofa and writing a letter while her servants busy themselves arranging her party. Impeccably mannered, she greets each guest announced by the hired butler with a "how delightful to see you". She is able to entertain her guest of honour, the prime minister, with "the most perfect ease and air of a creature floating in its element".
Read about another entry on the list.

Mrs. Dalloway also appears on Jennie Rooney's top ten list of women travelers in fiction and John Mullan's list of ten of the best prime ministers in fiction, and among Michael Cunningham's 5 most important books, Dani Shapiro's 10 favorite books, and Kate Walbert's best books.

--Marshal Zeringue