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The Group (1963)

by Mary McCarthy

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
2,325546,632 (3.73)1 / 128
Fiction. HTML:This smash bestseller about privileged Vassar classmates shocked America in the sixties and remains "juicy . . . witty . . . brilliant" (Cosmopolitan).
At Vassar, they were known as "the group"â??eight young women of privilege, the closest of friends, an eclectic mix of vibrant personalities. A week after graduation in 1933, they all gather for the wedding of Kay Strong, one of their own, before going their separate ways in the world. In the years that follow, they will each know accomplishment and loss in equal measure, pursuing careers and marriage, experiencing the joys and traumas of sexual awakening and motherhood, all while suffering through betrayals, infidelities, and sometimes madness. Some of them will drift apart. Some will play important roles in the personal dramas of others. But it is tragedy that will ultimately unite the group once again.
A novel that stunned the world when it was first published in 1963, Mary McCarthy's The Group found acclaim, controversy, and a place atop the New York Times bestseller list for nearly two years for its frank and controversial exploration of women's issues, social concerns, and sexuality. A blistering satire of the mores of an emergent generation of women, The Group is McCarthy's enduring masterpiece, still as relevant, powerful, and wonderfully entertaining fifty years on.
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Mary McCarthy including rare images from the author's esta
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    JuliaMaria: Die Erinnerungen beziehen sich auf den Zeitraum ihres Literaturstudiums am Vassar-College. "Die Clique" hat hier ihren Ursprung.
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» See also 128 mentions

English (46)  Spanish (2)  Catalan (1)  Danish (1)  Hebrew (1)  German (1)  Dutch (1)  French (1)  All languages (54)
Showing 1-5 of 46 (next | show all)
This brilliant social document (to paraphrase the quote on the book cover) tells the stories of several savvy Vassar grads with varying and dynamic personalities, careers, political persuasions, and personal affairs--who all interact in and around New York City. It's filled with satire and historical imagery and taught me tons about the political atmosphere in the 1930s (it was written around 1960). McCarthy is wonderful--she was a frequent New Yorker contributor and wrote these full-bodied characters astutely and intelligently and lovingly.

It's unfortunate that time has not already proven this novel a classic. Besides when I saw Betty Draper read it on Mad Men (Weiner loves those time stamps, y'all) and when an older man saw my copy and said he "hadn't seen anyone reading that in over 35 years," I've never encountered another person who's heard of it. It was the #1 best seller in 1964 and apparently every woman had her nose in it that year. Wish more men would read this. But, with a cast full of ladies, it's been pegged as a woman's novel ever since publication.
( )
  ostbying | Jan 1, 2023 |
Read this for my Zoom book club. Rather, it was a reread—I think I first read it when I was in my early 20s, but so much of what makes it a really meaty novel just went right over my head. Which makes me marvel at how truly oblivious I must have been at that age, despite having been raised in a reasonably aware liberal household and living in NYC. I just wasn't a political animal, I guess, because the big themes she shifts around with her eight or so main characters—class and sexism, mainly, with a little anti-Semitism and racism thrown in—did not weigh in my mind at the time, as I remember.

This time around I found it all fascinating and horrifying, as well as an entertaining read, a slow burn of amusing, annoying, satirical, and then appalling—kind of a rear-view-mirror dystopia, published the year I was born and all the more unsettling for that intersection into my own time line. Especially given the recent Supreme Court rollback of Roe... it's not as far back in the rear-view mirror as I'd like it to be, these days.

Anyway, too much going on in the book (Vassar grads in the 1930s moving through young adulthood, trials both of the time and timeless, and some really awful men) to describe, but it's worth a read for sure. And it made for a very good book club discussion. ( )
  lisapeet | Jul 4, 2022 |
This book made me want to dish with my lady friends and drink cocktails.
  sharibillops | May 20, 2022 |
The title refers to a group of girls who all graduate from Vassar in the same year (1933), and the novel follows their stories for the next 7 years or so. Issues of class and gender abound, and the story is both silly and sad in places. I wanted to love it and...didn't. In fact, I admit to skimming in parts. It felt a little too dated at this point, I think. *shrug* ( )
  electrascaife | Dec 19, 2021 |
This book was just okay. A little hard to follow at times and then it just sort of ended. Like you would end a chapter but this was an end to the book. I had to go back and read the ending a few times because I couldn't believe it just ended like it did. Definitely not a re-read here but it was interesting for the most part. ( )
  Stacie-C | May 8, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 46 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
McCarthy, Maryprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bushnell, CandaceIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
De Cristofaro, Magdasecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Fenwick, Jean-RenéTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gentien, AntoineTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hertel, HansTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kliphuis, J.F.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kliphuis-Vlaskamp, R.W.M.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moura, Sofia GracaEditorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Salomaa, AnttiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vázquez, PilarTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Zedlitz, Ursula vonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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It was June, 1933, one week after Commencement, when Kay Leiland Strong, Vassar '33, the first of her class to run around the table at the Class Day dinner, was married to Harald Petersen, Reed '27, in the chapel of St. George's Church, P.E., Karl F. Reiland, Rector.
My mother introduced me to The Group when I was a teenager. (Introduction)
Quotations
Libby took special pains with her reports ... typing them triple-spaced on a kind of sky-blue typing paper that was still manufactured in one of the mills in Pittsfield and stapling them in stiff blue covers.
One of the big features of living alone was that you could talk to yourself all you wanted and address imaginary audiences, running the gamut of emotions.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Fiction. HTML:This smash bestseller about privileged Vassar classmates shocked America in the sixties and remains "juicy . . . witty . . . brilliant" (Cosmopolitan).
At Vassar, they were known as "the group"â??eight young women of privilege, the closest of friends, an eclectic mix of vibrant personalities. A week after graduation in 1933, they all gather for the wedding of Kay Strong, one of their own, before going their separate ways in the world. In the years that follow, they will each know accomplishment and loss in equal measure, pursuing careers and marriage, experiencing the joys and traumas of sexual awakening and motherhood, all while suffering through betrayals, infidelities, and sometimes madness. Some of them will drift apart. Some will play important roles in the personal dramas of others. But it is tragedy that will ultimately unite the group once again.
A novel that stunned the world when it was first published in 1963, Mary McCarthy's The Group found acclaim, controversy, and a place atop the New York Times bestseller list for nearly two years for its frank and controversial exploration of women's issues, social concerns, and sexuality. A blistering satire of the mores of an emergent generation of women, The Group is McCarthy's enduring masterpiece, still as relevant, powerful, and wonderfully entertaining fifty years on.
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Mary McCarthy including rare images from the author's esta

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Book description
The Group follows eight graduates from exclusive Vassar College as they find love and heartbreak, choose careers and husbands against the backdrop of 1930s New York. 'Focusing on a group of New York friends, it open discussion of sex and contraception, careers and motherhood was unprecedented and it can now be seen as the precursor of the women's novel - without The Group there would certainly no Sex and the City'.
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