LOOK AT HOW SAD SHE IS. WE CANNOT HAVE THAT. Not from the author of Ethan Frome. Good Lord I love that book. We have to RECOGNIZE.
OKAY. Thanks to Anne, occasional-commenter-but-not-a-book-blogger, I was made aware that today is Edith Wharton's 150th birthday. ONE-HUNDRED-AND-FIFTY. A similar occasion will not come around again until we are all Very Very Old, so let us celebrate!
Do you have any favorite Wharton books? What are they? And if anyone flames her, so help me...IT IS HER BIRTHDAY. No mean comments today. NONE. I don't care if they made you read Ethan Frome in high school and thusly you hate it. We are looking for edifying experiences today.
Personally, my first book of hers was House of Mirth, which I liked but did not love until I re-read it in college. The first time I read it I was 14, it went completely over my head, and I just kept re-reading the parts where she and Selden kissed, because that was all I cared about at 14. When I read it in college, I wanted to squish Lily Bart and tell her everything was all right.
My experience with Ethan Frome was one of my favorite Book Reading experiences ever. I was 19, living in Chicago on my own while I took a year off college to do an internship, and I knew no one up here, so I just read a lot. And watched a lot of Futurama. I got Ethan Frome, stayed up until 2 a.m. reading it, and when the ending happened, I cried like nobody's business. Crying over a book at 2 a.m.? Excellent. The only other book that's made me do that is Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. And no, it wasn't for Dumbledore. It was for Amelia Bones. AMELIAAAAAAA!
I'm glad she was born, and it's awesome that she can inspire that feeling 150 years after the day. EDITH WE LOVE YOU.