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eBook The Puzzleheaded Girl download

by Christina Stead

eBook The Puzzleheaded Girl download ISBN: 0571271456
Author: Christina Stead
Publisher: Faber and Faber; Main edition (November 8, 2011)
Language: English
Pages: 284
ePub: 1449 kb
Fb2: 1510 kb
Rating: 4.2
Other formats: mobi rtf txt lit
Category: Literature
Subcategory: Literary

The Puzzle-headed Girl: Four Novellas is the ninth book by Australian author, Christina Stead. The Puzzleheaded Girl: Honor Lawrence applies for a job at the Farmers’ United Corporation, and Augustus Debrett employs her as a filing clerk.

The Puzzle-headed Girl: Four Novellas is the ninth book by Australian author, Christina Stead. It was first published in 1967. She is obviously poor, but refuses promotion to better pay, stating I hate and despise business and anything to do with making mone. .It is the enemy of art.

CHRISTINA ELLEN STEAD was born in 1902 in Sydney’s south Over the next ten years Stead published four new works of fiction, including The Puzzleheaded Girl and The Little Hotel.

CHRISTINA ELLEN STEAD was born in 1902 in Sydney’s south. After graduating from high school in 1919, she attended Sydney Teachers’ College on a scholarship. She subsequently held a series of teaching. Over the next ten years Stead published four new works of fiction, including The Puzzleheaded Girl and The Little Hotel. Stead returned to Australia for a university fellowship in 1969, following William Blake’s death. In 1974 she resettled permanently in Sydney and was the first recipient of the Patrick White Award. Christina Stead died in 1983. She is widely considered to be one of the most significant authors of the twentieth century.

Christina Stead was a committed Marxist, although she was never a member of the Communist Party. She spent much of her life outside Australia, although she returned before her death.

The Puzzleheaded Girl. I hate and despise business and anything to do with making money. Christina Stead was born in 1902 in Sydney. Her fourth work, The Man Who Loved Children, has been hailed as a ‘masterpiece’ by Jonathan Franzen, among others.

Электронная книга "The Puzzleheaded Girl", Christina Stead

Электронная книга "The Puzzleheaded Girl", Christina Stead. Эту книгу можно прочитать в Google Play Книгах на компьютере, а также на устройствах Android и iOS. Выделяйте текст, добавляйте закладки и делайте заметки, скачав книгу "The Puzzleheaded Girl" для чтения в офлайн-режиме.

The women at the heart of these novellas are misrepresented by men and by societal expectations. But they remain defiant. These are modern women, waiting for the world to catch up. Stead captures the contradictions and complications of the 1960s, and their effects on the lives of women and girls.

Puzzleheaded Girl (Paperback) (Christina Stead). University Of Sydney York University Jonathan Franzen Critical Essay Australian Authors Story Writer Screenwriting Short Stories Screenwriter. The Beauties and the Furies - by Christina Stead (Paperback). She was just a spell of. Murmurous Publishing. For Novel Readers and Writers. What others are saying.

Home Time: Book One (2 parts) Surfside Girls Book One: The Secret of Danger Point Brian P. Cleary, Brian Gable . Cleary, Brian Gable, "Stroll and Walk, Babble and Talk: More about Synonyms" Angelina's Christmas by Katharine Holabird. Посмотреть все изображения. Home Time Book One - part . df. Bob by Wendy Mass, Rebecca Stead The Society of Dread (Candleman by Glenn Dakin The Society of Unrelenting Vigilance (Candleman by Glenn Dakin Shadow Snatcher by Lou Kuenzler Silo and the Rebel Raiders. Christina Stead; Fiona Wright. This button opens a dialog that displays additional images for this product with the option to zoom in or out. Tell us if something is incorrect. The Puzzleheaded Girl. Book Format: Choose an option.

The Puzzleheaded Girl: Four Novellas. Dearest Munx: The Letters of Christina Stead and William J. Blake.

The puzzleheaded girl of the title novella, Honor Lawrence, is a young New York filing clerk whose motives her mentor, Augustus Debrett, finds impossible to understand. Her obvious poverty is so embarrassing for the New England elite of her acquaintance that they prefer to imagine scandal in its place. Refusing to accept promotion, but asking, all the same, for help, Honor becomes a spectral figure in Debrett's life, leaving puzzlement and disquiet in her wake. "The Puzzleheaded Girl" (first published in 1968) is a collection of four novellas: "The Puzzleheaded Girl," "The Dianas," "The Rightangled Creek," and "Girl from the Beach."
Comments: (2)
The Puzzle-headed Girl: Four Novellas is the ninth book by Australian author, Christina Stead. This edition is published under the Text Classics banner and sports a gorgeous colourful Picasso-esque cover by the talented W H Chong, as well as an introduction by author Fiona Wright. It was first published in 1967. The novellas are thematically linked.

The Puzzleheaded Girl: Honor Lawrence applies for a job at the Farmers’ United Corporation, and Augustus Debrett employs her as a filing clerk. She is obviously poor, but refuses promotion to better pay, stating “I hate and despise business and anything to do with making money….It is the enemy of art”. Eventually, this enigmatic girl leaves his employ, only to reappear at irregular intervals in his life (or does she?). The story spans many years and several countries.

The Dianas: Lydia is living in a hotel Paris, supposedly looking for a French husband, with several potential relationships on the go. Her friends and family are described in potted histories and anecdotes. Lydia comes across as silly, shallow, selfish and thoroughly unlikeable. She illustrates just how nasty she can be when taking apparent revenge on one of the mother’s admirers.

The Rightangled Creek: Writer Laban Davies and his wife Ruth have forsaken city life for a poor country Pennsylvania existence, where Laban can work without the distracting influence of drink and drinking friends. They raise and educate their son Frankie to succeed. Sam Parsons comes to visit and eventually, he and his nature-loving wife, Clare take over the let of the farmhouse. From the agent Sam hears the intriguing story of the owner’s daughter, and tragedies that have befallen other residents.

Girl from the Beach: International journalist George (Pyotr) complains to his friends, Martin and Louisa Dean, about his troubles with ex-wives and the girl he wants to marry. Months later, in Paris, the Deans encounter Linda Hill, the daughter of their friend Arthur, who is meant to be at the Sorbonne, but instead is stealing hotel cutlery and towels; George too, is there, and falls for Linda. Do these two bizarre characters deserve each other?

Stead effortlessly captures the feel of the era she is describing, with spare and beautiful prose, but her some of main characters are difficult to relate to, each of them being a misfit, sometimes naïve, sometimes sly, often irritating. These stories may resonate with readers of a certain era. A collection of modern classic fiction from an award-winning Australian author.
6 March 2017
Martin Kerr

Recurring themes and characters make a satisfying read

The Puzzleheaded Girl
By Christina Stead
The Text Publishing Company, Melbourne, 2016 (© Christina Stead 1967), 261 pages, A$12.95

Experimental, supplemental, exploratory at times, this small volume of novellas is entertaining and sustaining. The stories come as follows: The Puzzleheaded Girl, 55pp, The Dianas, 39pp, The Rightangled Creek: A sort of ghost story, 61pp, Girl from the Beach, 96pp, (“New York: Late Forties”, 26pp, “Paris: Early Fifties”, 69pp).
Who is this girl who over the years lives on three continents? Honor Lawrence is the abandoned daughter of a New York Italian vegetable seller. Cruelly treated she latches onto men and inevitably their wives. She becomes the gofer for a newly established trading firm supporting mid-west farmers, refuses to accept a higher paying job working an accounting machine, and is forever reading about art. Her brother is an artist who is increasingly recognised. She won’t stand hanky-panky in the office and hates being touched. But she wins secret admirers from the business partners. She types their personal letters. She is a mystery, virginal and afraid of relationships, and always ‘borrowing’ money.
“What future is there for that puzzelheaded girl?” Augustus Debrett’s wife asks her husband. “She is out of our lives for good.” (p36) Well, Honor turns up at Debrett’s office the next day…
The girl falls into the clutches of an elderly woman promising a trip to Europe. But she reneges finding a lesbian relationship quite unsavoury. She marries her school day sweetheart and moves to Europe, where she catches up occasionally with Debrett and his new wife, Mari. Honor leaves her husband and takes up with a South African. In South Africa her child (claimed to be coloured) is taken from her, and, after telling her story to Debrett in London she moves back to New York. She has caught a disease. Jay Hewett, her first husband tracks her down. She dies in tragic circumstances in New York in winter not far from Union Square.
Is Honor Lawrence a character entirely of the author’s imagination? Christina Stead has many self-willed oddballs in her books. This is perhaps the most mysterious one. A person affected by her upbringing, driven by inner thoughts of liberty, artistic endeavour and fairness. But she is lacking in emotional and physical feeling for others, until it is too late. She married too young. She was forever trying to work out life itself.

The Dianas has a similar theme of an American girl, this time seeking liberty in Paris. But she is relatively rich and well brought up. Lydia goes to lunch with a ‘middle-aged French baron’. Men are always wanting to marry her or sleep with her. She’s a virgin but not frightened of men. They are lining up, and she laughs about it with her much older friend Tamara and with Peggy a friend of her men-adventurous mother Hester of ‘foreign birth’. She goes away with Hester’s psychology professor boyfriend, putting off Emory her lover wannabe, and standing up an UNESCO official.
Lydia returns to New York to ‘go back to dissatisfaction and cynicism, horror and fear, doubting’ (p93) to be left a lot of money by estranged Aunt Diana. With new found wealth Lydia goes off to Miami and meets Arthur, ‘a stately young man of athletic build, fair haired and well dressed’ (p96), a 38 year old bachelor art collector and cello player. They catch up in New York. Finally she says yes. This is not Mills & Boon romance, and there are some interesting interludes and observations.

The Rightangled Creek has a different theme. Here we have Delaware countryside, in the process of change due to small acreages, aging migrant small farmers and the influx of city-siders, beautifully described and forever leaning on the reader through the change of seasons. The Dilleys, the original owners of a strangely built house whose daughter went mad after marrying a cruel guitar playing Nevada ex-serviceman, rent out the property. Mr Thornton, the observing and sometimes helpful farmer lives on the heights, looking down into this small sharp valley subject to seasonal flooding. Intellectual refugee, self-taught tough countryman Laban Davies is putting a book together. His wife Ruth works the garden. Their brilliant son goes to the local school and plays with black fellows. Dilleys’ Place is alive with noises in the night. A recovering alcoholic, it is inevitable Laban’s hard drinking bohemian friends will visit him from New York... He is saved initially by his friend Sam Parsons who with his wife Clare take over the house. Sam passes the tenancy to his friends who plan to purchase the property and set up a summer camp for writers. A local teacher doing flood control mitigation works in the creek dies of the effects of poison ivy. Thornton can’t wait to get his hands on the property for his fat daughter’s marriage… “A sort of ghost story.”
Where nature’s atmospherics play a prominent role as shown in The Rightangled Creek Stead writes at her best. She does this in her earlier works: for example in For Love Alone; harbour-side Sydney and farming country west of Gosford; and in The Man Who Loved Children.

The Girl from the Beach returns to the recurring themes of independent female characters and the older men who pursue them. George Paul is in his fifties ‘walking like a young man from the exercises he did to keep fit’. (p165) He’s had three wives and pays alimony, keeping the wolf from the door as a freelance writer. He married very young women and has another in his sights, ‘this girl Renee’ (p165) who lives with an older lame woman. Barbara his previous wife forever pursues him for money and to interrupt his life for her own enjoyment. George’s situation about girls is reflected in monologues to his friends Martin and Laura Dean. He’s forever looking for saviour in young girls, but free of the desire for children. Renee’s mother Lilian is wild and cynical about men and she expects her daughter to be likewise. Renee is not so smart and had a reluctant abortion resulting in the abortionist being charged, leading to his suicide.
In the nineteen fifties in Paris, Linda Hill, the daughter of Alfred Hill, also a friend of the left leaning Deans, catches up with them. ‘She… put on her best air, tall, slender, dark crop, black glasses, taking graceful large steps, an air of long-suffering celebrity’ (p193) Linda is trying to get a job at a night club and demonstrates that she is not expecting to succeed in all her attempts at employment, doing things most American independent young women do in Paris (under ‘American occupation’ and not as popular as the Germans). She’s from Island Beach “‘where everyone was a Communist’”. (p200) Her parents had separated, her mother was playing up; so by fair means and foul Linda flees to Paris. As Martin Dean tells his wife, crazy American kids: “‘They’re bloodsuckers living off their parents and talking about youth and revolt.’” (p206)
An older; ‘more flesh: he looked paternal’ (p209) George Paul, who is writing a book on refugees, turns up and sets out to save Linda from her medical student boyfriend as well as from her wicked souveniring ways. He’s determined to become the father figure and replace Alfred Hill who is a sculptor cum business owner and highly respected former Wobbly. The Deans offload the tramp despite her fears. And so the adventures of George and Linda begin. This is amusing, observational stuff. A sort of cops and robbers with third wife Barby trying to track him down for his Mercedes, all the while Linda telling of her life at Island Beach and how she was raped by a family friend. Linda runs off to Spain with a couple of American boys and the keys to the Mercedes. She runs off again and turns up unexpectedly having suffered boils and hospitalisation, to present George with the keys. Finally George tells Martin Dean he’s going to marry Linda who is “‘twenty-two and quiet; and she wants to forget about all the past.’” (p245) George only believes in girls: “‘I see girls without sentiment, but I see how beautiful they are. I cannot marry a woman who is a dead girl.’” (p247)
Barby turns up with Prince Dimitri demanding money for her gallery in New York. After much amusing argument he gets rid of her and the Prince to enjoy an engagement celebration with Linda (her third!). Barby returns to tell Linda how she married “‘Georgie-Porgie’” (p254) when she was sixteen. She advises Linda to go home and marry a straight American. The two women go off on a buying trip to Rome in the Mercedes. They have an accident and the car is sold. Linda Hill returns to her father in New York who has a successful manufacturing business. Linda gets engaged to ‘a boy from the Beach’ who is getting on with his master’s degree. George turns up three months later. “‘Do you know George,’ she said with a laugh, ‘I can hardly remember what I did in Paris.’” (p 260) After spending some time in Barby’s care George wanders off only to be heard of by way of rumour.

These stories are later examples of the author’s skills. Stead’s women are liberated within the confines of the system, a hairy capitalist one which she describes with a great deal of knowledge and experience, her characters responding with humour, irony and healthy cynicism. Sometimes there is hesitation. Sometimes there are commonalities of characters and situations from her earlier books. Sometimes there is ‘careless’ editing concerning dialogues, running within paragraphs. With a computer the author would have eliminated such minor ‘faults’. She needed the money. She got on with her stuff, possibly working to one or two drafts, such was her ability, creativity and sheer energy for her projects. It’s a reader’s privilege to find most of Christina Stead’s work now available including a new edition of A Web of Friendship: Selected Letters 1928-1973 (Miegunyah Press) reviewed by Hilary McPhee in The Weekend Australian Review, February 25-26, 2017.

Martin Kerr has written seven novels and two volumes of short stories. His books, including New Guinea Patrol first published as a hardback in 1973, are available on Kindle.