Dominique Browning

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Last Updated on June 7, 2022, by eNotes Editorial. Word Count: 157

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Ms. Cheever means to create a sympathetic figure, but it is impossible to like or learn much from Salley Gardens [the protagonist of Looking for Work]. She is the kind of female character who indulges in all manner of shortcuts as she wanders through life's lost and found…. [In] the hands of a skilled writer who could put some critical distance between herself and her heroine, Salley Gardens would have been a brilliant caricature of the misguided females who people the screen, stage, and page. But, clearly, the author is at one with her character. As for Ms. Cheever's feeble and superficial response to women's problems, such seems to be the vogue these days. Women like Salley Gardens haven't really examined their lives, and writers like Susan Cheever haven't really examined their talents. (p. 85)

Dominique Browning, "Cheever's House of Cards" (copyright © 1979, Esquire Publishing Inc.; used by courtesy of the magazine), in Esquire, Vol. 93, No. 1, January, 1980, pp. 84-5.


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