An Absence of Cousins

Lore Segal


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26 July 2024
ISBN: 9781914502101
256 pages

From the publisher

The first UK publication of Lore Segal's Pulitzer-finalist novel, following on from her acclaimed Ladies' Lunch

Ilka Weisz is in need not just of friends but 'elective cousins'. She has left her home in New York to accept a junior teaching post at the prestigious Concordance Institute, a liberal college in bucolic Connecticut. But how can she, a Jewish refugee from Vienna, find a new set to belong to - a surrogate family? Might the Shakespeares - the institute's director and his wry, acerbic wife - hold the key?

In these interlinked New Yorker stories, Lore Segal evokes the comic melancholy of the outsider and the ineffectual ambitions of a progressive, predominantly WASP-ish institution. Tragedy and loss haunt characters as they plan an academic symposium on genocide, while their privileged lives contrast starkly with those on a derelict housing project next door.

Includes the acclaimed New Yorker podcast story, "The Reverse Bug".