Written by a superb novelist of contemporary manners, this is a fairytale which illuminates the extraordinariness of ordinary lives.
"At the very end of the Ladies' Frocks Departments, past Cocktail Frocks, there was something very special, something quite, quite wonderful; but it wasn't for everybody: that was the point. Because there, at the very end, there was a lovely arch, on which was written in curly letters Model Gowns." Written by a superb novelist of contemporary manners, The Women in Black is a fairytale which illuminates the extraordinariness of ordinary lives. The women in black are run off their feet, what with the Christmas rush and the summer sales that follow. But it's Sydney in the 1950s, and there's still just enough time left on a hot and frantic day to dream and scheme...By the time the last marked-down frock has been sold, most of the staff of the Ladies' Cocktail section at F. G. Goode's have been launched into slightly different careers. With the lightest touch and the most tender of comic instincts, Madeleine St John conjures a vanished summer of innocence. The Women in Black is a great novel, a lost Australian classic.
Madeleine St John is the author of A Pure Clear Light, The Essence of the Thing (which was shortlisted for the Booker Prize), and Stairway to Paradise.
'Funny, affectionate, moving and written with a light, comic touch.' -- Monica McInerney Australian Women's Weekly 'A delicious book. Funny and happy, it's like the breath of youth again.' Jane Gardam 'Seductive, hilarious, brilliantly observed, this novel shimmers with wit and tenderness.' Helen Garner 'A major minor masterpiece, a witty and poignant snapshot of Sydney the year before yesterday.' Barry Humphries 'St. John casts an airy spell with the deftness of her prose, which moves gracefully, swiftly and with perfect manners.' -- Delia Falconer Australian 'This glorious, witty snapshot of Australia in the 1950s...it really is a gem in the rough...This is no nostalgia piece for a lost way of life, but a clever, funny argument for why things had to change.' Sunday Times 'Wickedly humorous yet tender...Full of old fashioned elegance and witty humour. I loved every page.' Style Magazine
'A major minor masterpiece, a witty and poignant snapshot of Sydney the year before yesterday.'
People of the Book Geraldine Brooks The Sense of an Ending Julian Barnes Autumn Laing Alex Miller Jasper Jones Craig Silvey Bring Up the Bodies Hilary Mantel The Hare with the Amber Eyes Edmund De Waal Water for Elephants Sara Gruen Pride and Prejudice Jane Austen
A brilliant, lost Australian classic about the women working in a department store in Sydney in the 1950s. Hilary Mantel calls The Women in Black 'a pocket masterpiece. A jewel.' Reading group notes available. Featuring a new introduction by famed director Bruce Beresford, who has bought film rights to the novel. One of those rare novels you can recommend to women of all ages and backgrounds, with an even rarer promise--this book will make you happy.
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