Cynthia Propper Seton Joan Silber - Essay

Joan Silber

(Contemporary Literary Criticism)

Cynthia Propper Seton calls her writing "serious comedy"—a somewhat unlovely term for the genre once labeled civilized entertainment, bubbly in style but crusty in moral tone. Fanny Foote, the heroine of [A Private Life], is 26, mildly depressed, and working at a lowly clerical job at an imaginary feminist magazine whose editor, in a fit of brainstorming extravagance, decides to send her to France to write an article about her aunt. (Anyone familiar with the budgets of feminist magazines may find this implausible, but it's better just to let it pass). Fanny's Aunt Carrie runs a pension in the Provençal countryside which is famous for catering to arty and scholarly types; her partner in this enterprise is her...

(The entire section is 519 words.)