Otto and Sophie Bentwood live in a changing neighborhood in Brooklyn. Their stainless-steel kitchen is newly installed, and their Mercedes is parked curbside. After Sophie is bitten on the hand while trying to feed a stray, perhaps rabies-infected cat, a series of small and ominous disasters begin to plague the Bentwoods' lives, revealing the fault lines and fractures in a marriage—and a society—wrenching itself apart.
First published in 1970 to wide acclaim, Desperate Characters stands as one of the most dazzling and rigorous examples of the storyteller's craft in postwar American literature — a novel that, according to Irving Howe, ranks with "Billy Budd, The Great Gatsby, Miss Lonelyhearts, and Seize the Day."
About the Author
Paula Fox (April 22, 1923 – March 1, 2017) was an American author of novels for adults and children and of two memoirs. For her contributions as a children's writer she won the biennial, international Hans Christian Andersen Award in 1978, the highest international recognition for a creator of children's books. She also won several awards for particular children's books including the 1974 Newbery Medal for her novel The Slave Dancer;[b] a 1983 National Book Award in category Children's Fiction (paperback) for A Place Apart; and the 2008 Deutscher Jugendliteraturpreis for A Portrait of Ivan (1969) in its German-language edition Ein Bild von Ivan.
In 2011, she was inducted into the New York State Writers Hall of Fame. The NYSW Hall of Fame is a project of the Empire State Center for the Book. Her adult novels went out of print in 1992. In the mid nineties she enjoyed a revival as her adult fiction was championed by a new generation of American writers.