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The Long-Winded Lady

Notes from The New Yorker

List Price: $16.95

February 9, 2016 | Paperback | 6 x 9, 288 Pages | ISBN 9781619027114
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“She was an artist of the evanescent.” —Washington Post 

From 1954 to 1981, Maeve Brennan wrote for The New Yorker’s “Talk of the Town” department under the pen name “The Long-Winded Lady.” Her unforgettable sketches—prose snapshots of life in small restaurants, cheap hotels, and crowded streets of Times Square and the Village—together form a timeless, bittersweet tribute to what she called the “most reckless, most ambitious, most confused, most comical, the saddest and coldest and most human of cities.” First published in 1969, The Long-Winded Lady is a celebration of one of The New Yorker’s finest writers.

MAEVE BRENNAN left Ireland for American in 1934, when she was seventeen. In 1949 she joined the staff of The New Yorker, to which she contributed reviews, essays, and short stories. Her acclaimed works The Rose Garden, The Visitor, and The Springs of Affection are also available from Counterpoint. Maeve Brennan died in 1993 at the age of seventy-six.


“A wonderful, wonderful writer.” —Ved Mehta, author of Portrait of India

“A writer of genius.” —Kennedy Fraser, author of Fashionable Mind

“Maeve Brennan… has helped put New York back into The New Yorker, and has written about the city of the sixties with both honesty and affection… She is constantly alert, sharp-eyed as a sparrow for the crumbs of human event, the overheard and the glimpsed and the guessed at, that form a solitary city person’s least expensive amusement.” —John Updike, Atlantic Monthly (1969)

“She has always been able to turn quite ordinary things into ‘moments of recognition’… She does this by a steady accumulation of detail and alternate flashes of passionate statement and raw insight. The accomplishment is formidable—something few writers attempt without sounding precious, dull, or both.” —TIME

“Reading this book I was reminded again and again of a very different one that is has something in common with—Turgenev’s A Sportsman’s Notebook. The long-winded lady and the great Russian novelist are alike in the openness with which everything—a bad-mannered dog, a little boy crying, a young man waiting for his date in the bar of what turns out to be the wrong hotel—is looked at and felt.” —Wigwag

“Maeve had quickness of wit, a sharp tongue, and the gift of style… Bitter, dazzling, talented, tenderhearted, intractable Maeve!” —A New York Life

“She was an artist of the evanescent.” —Washington Post

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