The life and literary career of paula fox

Nation, November 3,Blair T.

elsie fox

Only in her 40s did she begin her first novel, Poor George, about a cynical schoolteacher who finds purpose—and ruin—in mentoring a vagrant teenager. That is its nettlesome reward.

You navigate by what feels interesting, what feels true, what feels hot. With her short white hair and considerable height, she is an imposing presence, but painstakingly courteous, and after a few awkward moments peering together out the kitchen window, she redirected me upstairs for a complete tour of the brownstone.

When the Government answered at last, I tore open the letter and, at once, gasped with laughter and chagrin. By they were all out of print although, Fox is keen to point out, "There were very few of them, but I never ran out of readers".

Paula fox books

What I recall about her stories, told to me in fragments over the years I lived with her, was an underlying elegiac note, a puzzled mourning for the past. Too many people everywhere. I think of a middle-aged woman I heard about who, when she learned her father was dying, said at once that death could be a very enriching experience. The story concerns an eleven-year-old, middle-class boy named Clay Garrity, whose father loses his job as a magazine art director and abandons his family. He said because the revolution is coming to the hotel today. Should we not honor and esteem the life in the self as well as the self in life? Love, for her part, was impressed to find, reading Borrowed Finery , that through Fox she was distantly related to Douglas Fairbanks. One boardinghouse remained in business, but the nine tenants were very quiet, almost furtive, like the last remaining members of a foreign enclave who, daily, expect deportation. A new book has just been sent to the publisher. And consider "like" which has broken loose from hip talk, once its main province, and taken root in the daily language of observation and emotion, so involuntary as to seem a neurological tic. When Borrowed Finery was published many were surprised to discover just how autobiographical Fox's fiction is.

As with her fiction, the impression is of distanced, though not unfeeling, control - and so what you don't expect is the warmth and vigour of her physical presence she turned 80 in April, but looks far younger and her laughter.

I remember how struck I was by the ending when Robin is supported by the window and shoots his last arrow. It's a process of growth, of wisdom and spirit.

Wagner, review of Western Wind.

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Profile: Paula Fox