The Awkward Age
The story of young Nanda Brookenham's struggle to preserve her honesty in the brilliant but corrupt world of her parents is a drama of innocence betrayed yet preserved. Written when James was recovering from the shock od failure as a playwright, THE AWKWARD AGE is one of his greatest masterpieces. Conceived like a play terms of scenes and conducted largely through witty dialogue, the novel bears the triumphant signs of his painful apprenticeship in the theatre
From laundrettes to contact lenses, Paul McCartney's trousers to plane crashes, this title guides us through the pitfalls and idiosyncrasies of our illogical and unexciting lives, and finds the humour and drama hidden within.
The title story of this collection, "An Awkward Age", spins the tale of a boy growing into adolescence, who appears to have been taken over by a colony of ants. His diary, initially expressed in the barely literate tones of a young child, becomes more accomplished and assured as the protagonist matures, and eventually begins to give way to the voice of the ruler of the anthill.
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I recall with perfect ease the idea in which "The Awkward Age" had its origin, but re-perusal gives me pause in respect to naming it. This composition, as it stands, makes, to my vision-and will have made perhaps still more to that of its readers-so considerable a mass beside the germ sunk in it and still possibly distinguishable, that I am half-moved to leave my small secret undivulged.