Laura Jacobs explores why the book still dazzles as a generational portrait, falters as fiction, and blighted Mc Carthy’s life.
FLICK LIT A scene from the 1966 film adaptation of The Group, directed by Sidney Lumet, with Jessica Walter as Libby, Joanna Pettet as Kay, and Shirley Knight as Polly.
Mary Mc Carthy’s 1963 novel about eight Vassar girls, turned the feared and revered literary critic into a wealthy, world-famous author.
But the backlash was brutal, not least from her Vassar classmates.
"Mojave rattlesnakes have a neurotoxic poison, almost like a cobra's," he explains, giving a natural-history lesson on the animal's two color phases and its map of distribution in the West.