Thursday, August 03, 2017

Ten top parties in fiction

Elizabeth Day's novels include Scissors, Paper, Stone, Home Fires, Paradise City, and The Party.

At the Guardian, Day tagged her ten favorite parties in fiction, including:
Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy

Oblonsky’s ball in Anna Karenina is perhaps not as famous as the scene in War and Peace when Andrei and Natasha waltz for the first time, but its impact is as quietly devastating. Kitty (the unwitting rival for Count Vronsky’s affections) has earlier urged Anna to wear a flashy lilac dress. But Tolstoy puts his heroine in a modest black velvet gown. Kitty notes sadly that Anna’s charm “consisted precisely in the fact that she always stood out from what she wore”. Vronsky notices it too and swiftly falls in love. The rest is (doomed) history.
Read about another entry on the list.

Anna Karenina also appears on Grant Ginder's top ten list of the more loathsome people in literature, Louis De Berniéres's six best books list, Martin Seay's ten best long books list, Jeffrey Lent's top ten list of books about justice and redemption, Bethan Roberts's top ten list of novels about childbirth, Hannah Jane Parkinson's list of the ten worst couples in literature, Hanna McGrath's top fifteen list of epigraphs, Amelia Schonbek's list of three classic novels that pass the Bechdel test, Rachel Thompson's top ten list of the greatest deaths in fiction, Melissa Albert's recommended reading list for eight villains, Alison MacLeod's top ten list of stories about infidelity, David Denby's six favorite books list, Howard Jacobson's list of his five favorite literary heroines, Eleanor Birne's top ten list of books on motherhood, Esther Freud's top ten list of love stories, Chika Unigwe's six favorite books list, Elizabeth Kostova's list of favorite books, James Gray's list of best books, Marie Arana's list of the best books about love, Ha Jin's most important books list, Tom Perrotta's ten favorite books list, Claire Messud's list of her five most important books, Alexander McCall Smith's list of his five most important books, Mohsin Hamid's list of his ten favorite books, Louis Begley's list of favorite novels about cheating lovers, and among the top ten works of literature according to Peter Carey and Norman Mailer. John Mullan put it on his lists of ten of the best erotic dreams in literature, ten of the best coups de foudre in literature, ten of the best births in literature, ten of the best ice-skating episodes in literature, and ten of the best balls in literature.

--Marshal Zeringue