Binstead's Safari (Magill's Literary Annual 1989)
Though the main characters in Rachel Ingalls’ Binstead’s Safari are American, the novel is set in England (London) and Africa. Millie and Stan Binstead, in fact, are like some of Henry James’s characters in that they are the victims of assumptions which change when they encounter people and locales foreign to them. This kind of situation seems natural to Ingalls, an American expatriate who, like James before her, lives in England, where she settled in 1964 and where Binstead’s Safari was first published in 1983. Her publishing career, indeed, has followed her taking up residence in England; The Pearlkillers appeared in 1964, followed by Theft (1970), Mediterranean Cruise (1973), The Man Who Was Left Behind and Other Stories (1974), Mrs. Caliban (1982), and, after Binstead’s Safari, Something to Write Home About: Stories (1988). Binstead’s Safari itself records the emotional recovery of a woman trapped and debased by her marriage. It also traces how her husband comes to love her again and to understand himself for the first time.
Millie Binstead has spent most of her marriage feeling worthless. Her husband Stan, a professor, has done little if anything to help her. In fact, the more passive and enervated Millie has become, the more Stan has despised her. Moreover, Stan has found out that he is not impotent and Millie that she is not barren, but neither has told the...
(The entire section is 1317 words.)
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Bibliography (Magill's Literary Annual 1989)
The Atlantic. CCLXI, March, 1988, p. 100.
Booklist. LXXXIV, February 1, 1988, p. 903.
Chicago Tribune. February 14, 1988, XIV, p. 4.
Kirkus Reviews. LV, December 15, 1987, p. 1692.
Library Journal. CXIII, February 1, 1988, p. 75.
Los Angeles Times. March 29, 1988, V, p. 1.
The New York Times Book Review. XCIII, April 17, 1988, p. 42.
Publishers Weekly. CCXXXII, December 18, 1987, p. 55.
Time. CXXXI, April 11, 1988, p. 74.
The Wall Street Journal. March 15, 1988, p. 32.
The Washington Post Book World. XVIII, March 6, 1988, p. 9.
(The entire section is 62 words.)