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y separately published work icon Letty Fox, Her Luck single work   novel  
Issue Details: First known date: 1946... 1946 Letty Fox, Her Luck
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AbstractHistoryArchive Description

"One hot night last spring, after waiting fruitlessly for a call from my then lover, with whom I had quarrelled the same afternoon, and finding one of my black moods upon me, I flung out of my lonely room on the ninth floor (unlucky number) in a hotel in lower Fifth Avenue and rushed into the streets of the Village, feeling bad." "So begins Letty Fox's own story, a comic extravaganza about the crazy circus of her early life; about her moping mother, absent father, and two impossible sisters; about work and play, sex and men, and the seemingly unending search for a lasting relationship." (Publisher's blurb)

Banned in Australia

Censorship Agencies: Literature Censorship Board
Decision: 22 May 1947
NAA Source: A3023; Folder 1945-1947
Censorship notes: Released at the 1958 review.

Notes

  • Epigraph: L'expérience te manque, et malheureusement/ c'est une chose qui ne s'acquiert qu'à force/ de sottises et de bévues!/ Le Paysan et la Paysanne Pervertis/ Réstif de la Bretonne

Publication Details of Only Known VersionEarliest 2 Known Versions of

    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      Harcourt Brace ,
      1946 .
      image of person or book cover 7149495205897910082.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 517p.
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Peter Davies ,
      1947 .
      Extent: 502p.
    • London,
      c
      England,
      c
      c
      United Kingdom (UK),
      c
      Western Europe, Europe,
      :
      Virago ,
      1978 .
      image of person or book cover 3730047677290575523.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: 502p.
      Note/s:
      • Introduction by Mary Kathleen Benet
      ISBN: 080680517
    • New York (City), New York (State),
      c
      United States of America (USA),
      c
      Americas,
      :
      The New York Review of Books ,
      2001 .
      image of person or book cover 5980397166401474241.jpg
      This image has been sourced from online.
      Extent: xxix, 602p.p.
      Note/s:
      • Introduction by Tim Parks.
      ISBN: 0940322706
      Series: y separately published work icon NYRB Classics The New York Review of Books (publisher), New York (City) : The New York Review of Books , 1999- Z1836343 1999 series - publisher 'The NYRB Classics series is designedly and determinedly exploratory and eclectic, a mix of fiction and non-fiction from different eras and times and of various sorts. The series includes nineteenth century novels and experimental novels, reportage and belles lettres, tell-all memoirs and learned studies, established classics and cult favorites, literature high, low, unsuspected, and unheard of. NYRB Classics are, to a large degree, discoveries, the kind of books that people typically run into outside of the classroom and then remember for life.Inevitably literature in translation constitutes a major part of the NYRB Classics series, simply because so much great literature has been left untranslated into English, or translated poorly, or deserves to be translated again, much as any outstanding book asks to be read again. The series started in 1999 with the publication of Richard Hughes's A High Wind in Jamaica ... [and] almost all NYRB Classics feature an introduction by an outstanding writer, scholar, or critic of our day' (publisher website).
    • Carlton, Parkville - Carlton area, Melbourne - North, Melbourne, Victoria,: Miegunyah Press , 2011 .
      image of person or book cover 4003302426861112394.jpg
      Image courtesy of publisher's website.
      Extent: xvi, 662 p.p.
      Note/s:
      • Introduction by Carmen Callil.
      ISBN: 9780522854053 (pbk.)
      Series: y separately published work icon Miegunyah Modern Library Miegunyah Press (publisher), Miegunyah Press , 2010- Z1807646 2010 series - publisher
Alternative title: Letty Fox: roman
Language: French

Works about this Work

y separately published work icon Christina Stead and the Matter of America Fiona Morrison , Sydney : Sydney University Press , 2019 17267523 2019 multi chapter work criticism

'Although Christina Stead is best known for the mid-century masterpiece set in Washington D.C. and Baltimore, The Man Who Loved Children, it was not her only work about the America. Five of Christina Stead’s mid-career novels deal with the United States, capturing and critiquing American life with characteristic sharpness and originality.

'In this examination of Stead’s American work, Fiona Morrison explores Stead’s profound engagement with American politics and culture and their influence on her “restlessly experimental” style. Through the turbulent political and artistic debates of the 1930s, the Second World War, and the emergence of McCarthyism, the “matter” of America provoked Stead to continue to create new ways of writing about politics, gender and modernity.

'This is the first critical study to focus on Stead’s time in America and its influence on her writing. Morrison argues compellingly that Stead’s American novels “reveal the work of the greatest political woman writer of the mid twentieth century”, and that Stead’s account of American ideology and national identity remains extraordinarily prescient, even today.'

Source: Publisher's blurb.

I Don’t Even Get Bananas Madeleine Schwartz , 2017 single work review
— Appears in: London Review of Books , 2 November vol. 39 no. 21 2017; (p. 15-16)

— Review of The Man Who Loved Children Christina Stead , 1940 single work novel ; Letty Fox, Her Luck Christina Stead , 1946 single work novel

‘She was famous for being neglected,’ Lorna Sage once said of Christina Stead. In 1955, Elizabeth Hardwick, writing in the New Republic, described trying to obtain Stead’s address from her last American publisher. Only a few years before the New Yorker had called her ‘the most extraordinary woman novelist produced by the English-speaking race since Virginia Woolf’. Yet, Hardwick wrote, ‘the information came forth with a tomba oscura note: all they had was a poste restante, Lausanne, Switzerland, 1947 … She is, as they say, not in the picture.’ Randall Jarrell tried to revive interest in Stead a few years later with a laudatory essay about The Man Who Loved Children (1940).Stead wrote to him: ‘It is quite the loveliest thing that ever happened to me in “my literary life”. That is only an expression. I do not have a literary life different from any other life.’ Jonathan Franzen did his part in 2010, with a rapturous essay in the New York Times about the same book. ‘I’m convinced that there are tens of thousands of people in this country who would bless the day the book was published, if only they could be exposed to it,’ he wrote. In response, Picador announced a new edition, with a print run in the thousands. From what I can tell, the book is not currently available in most bookshops.' (Introduction)

The Rhetoric of Luck in Christina Stead's Letty Fox: Her Luck Fiona Morrison , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: Antipodes , June vol. 28 no. 1 2014; (p. 111-122, 256)
'Morrison talks about the rhetoric of Luck in Christina Stead's Letty Fox: Her Luck (1946). The novel examines the terrain of female experience between the acquisition of sexual maturity and marriage. It is clear that the topoi of female survival and female ambition are central to this trilogy of books, and in Letty Fox: Her Luck, the framing questions of America and American politics complicate and extend these topoi. The anti-sentimental picaresque offered Stead an opportunity to return to the satirical energy that is so remarkable in House of All Nations (1938), to experiment with New York vernacular, and to anatomize various American dilemmas as she saw them: a materialistic and weak middle-class obsessed with easy success, the irritant of fake radicalism in the New York Left, and the irresistible rise and rise of gangster capitalism. Stead's use of "luck" highlights the episodic and contingent events that make up the life of her anti-heroine, but also provides a rhetorical focal point for her critique of sex and politics. "Luck" is a word at the heart of the novel's purpose as well as its action.' (Publication abstract)
Memories and Letters : Nadine and Lina Lewin's Friendship with Christina Stead Valerie Mendelson , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: Antipodes , June vol. 28 no. 1 2014; (p. 1-12)
'Mendelson examines the correspondence between Nadine Lewin Mendelson, her mother, and Lina Lewin, her grandmother, and Christina Stead, a novelist. She says reading the letters brings her the memory of visiting her grandmother's place in New York City and sheds some light on Stead's life as a great novelist.' (Publication summary)
Re-encountering Christina Stead : Why Read ‘Workshop in the Novel’? Alison Burns , R. A. Goodrich , 2014 single work criticism
— Appears in: TEXT : Journal of Writing and Writing Courses , April vol. 18 no. 1 2014;

'Despite waves of interest in the work of Christina Stead, one aspect of her writing life has been largely neglected. From September 1943, she taught three series of extended writing workshops in New York and in the process left more than three hundred pages documenting her teaching. The question motivating this paper is: Why should we, as writers and teachers of writing, read her writing workshop notebooks nowadays? This paper will place Stead’s workshop in the context of the development of institutional teaching of novel writing and her emergence as a major writer. It will briefly examine how the notebooks have previously been understood and offer a closer analysis than has been made to date of the notebooks and their content and of the key issues raised by them. In particular, we shall explore her pedagogic focus upon workshop participants developing a rigorous, analytical approach to crafting novels and her extensive use of Georges Polti’s Thirty-Six Dramatic Situations to achieve this. That, in turn, will enable us to assess what the notebooks independently reveal about her beliefs regarding the novel and its purpose. ' (Publication summary)

Grappling with Genius Geordie Williamson , 2011 single work review
— Appears in: The Weekend Australian , 17-18 September 2011; (p. 18-19)

— Review of Letty Fox, Her Luck Christina Stead , 1946 single work novel
The Scintillating Stead David Malouf , 1982 single work review
— Appears in: The Age Monthly Review , vol. 2 no. 5 1982; (p. 11-12)

— Review of A Little Tea, a Little Chat Christina Stead , 1948 single work novel ; Letty Fox, Her Luck Christina Stead , 1946 single work novel ; The People with the Dogs Christina Stead , 1952 single work novel
[Review] For Love Alone [and] Letty Fox, Her Luck A. Duchene , 1978 single work review
— Appears in: The Times Literary Supplement , 8 September 1978; (p. 985)

— Review of For Love Alone Christina Stead , 1944 single work novel ; Letty Fox, Her Luck Christina Stead , 1946 single work novel
[Review] For Love Alone [and] Letty Fox, Her Luck C. Tomalin , 1978 single work review
— Appears in: Nation Review , 27 October-2 November 1978; (p. 21)

— Review of For Love Alone Christina Stead , 1944 single work novel ; Letty Fox, Her Luck Christina Stead , 1946 single work novel
[Review] For Love Alone [and] Letty Fox, Her Luck C. Tomalin , 1978 single work review
— Appears in: New Statesman , 21 July 1978; (p. 95)

— Review of For Love Alone Christina Stead , 1944 single work novel ; Letty Fox, Her Luck Christina Stead , 1946 single work novel
The Totally Incredible Obscenity of Letty Fox Nicole Moore , 2003 single work criticism
— Appears in: JASAL , vol. 2 no. 2003; (p. 67-79)
Published in 1946 in New York, Letty Fox : Her Luck was declared a prohibited import by Australia in mid-1947. Moore discusses the procedures involved in the banning and the compexity of what was at issue for Australian officials.
The Luck of Letty Fox Tim Parks , 2001 single work criticism
— Appears in: The New York Review of Books , 20 December vol. 48 no. 20 2001; (p. 90-93)
Around the World 1947 single work column
— Appears in: The Australasian Book News and Library Journal , January vol. 1 no. 7 1947; (p. 325)
The ‘American Dilemma’: Christina Stead’s Cold War Anatomy Fiona Morrison , 2010 single work criticism
— Appears in: Reading Across the Pacific : Australia-United States Intellectual Histories 2010; (p. 241-253)

'After a year in New York in 1935-1936, Christina Stead commented that "the whole spirit of New York is opposed to the creative mind". Yet America and Americans became the matter of five of her subsequent novels. After a leftwing Australian background and a number of years in socialist milieus in London and Paris, Stead was an intriguing reader of 1940s America. In her late American work, I'm Dying Laughing (begun 1949, published 1986), Stead became that most precarious of things - a leftwing critic of the Left during the early Cold War. Desire for success and the accompanying fear of failure are thematised by Stead as "the American dilemma" - the contradictory relationship between collective action and individual survival at the heart of American national identity that she saw as no less forceful and tragic for many on the Left.' (Author's abstract)

Reading Letty Fox in 2011 Fiona Morrison , 2011 single work column
— Appears in: Australian Book Review , October no. 335 2011; (p. 27-28)
Fiona Morrison champions 'the recent reissuing of "writer’s writer" Christina Stead's transnational novel Letty Fox: Her Luck'.
Last amended 9 Oct 2014 10:15:20
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