By Susanna Kaysen
“It was once most likely simply because i used to be so frequently taken clear of Cambridge whilst i used to be younger that I enjoyed it up to I did . . .”
So starts this novel-from-life by way of the best-selling writer of lady, Interrupted, an exploration of reminiscence and nostalgia set within the Fifties one of the teachers and artists of Cambridge, Massachusetts.
London, Florence, Athens: Susanna, the precocious narrator of Cambridge, could otherwise be domestic than in any of those locations. Uprooted from the streets round Harvard sq., she feels misplaced and excluded in all of the destinations to which her father’s occupation takes the kinfolk. She comes domestic with relief—but quickly adequate wonders if outsiderness might be her everlasting condition.
Written with a pointy eye for the pretensions—and charms—of the highbrow sessions, Cambridge captures the mores of an period now previous, the standard lives of amazing humans in a novel a part of the US, and the delights, fears, and longings of youth.
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Extra resources for Cambridge
He regarded Frau Grubach with a certain feeling of gratitude. ’ he asked. By now they were both sitting at the table, and from time to time K. buried one hand in the pile of stockings. ‘There’s a lot of work to do,’ she said. ’ she asked, becoming slightly more animated, her knitting resting in her lap. ’ K. watched in silence as she picked up the stocking again. ‘She seems to be surprised I talked about it,’ he thought, ‘she doesn’t seem to think it right I should talk about it. That makes it all the more important I should do so.
Started shouting they became calm, almost sad, confusing him or, in a way, bringing him back to his senses. ‘Ridiculous formalities,’ he muttered, but already he was taking a jacket from the chair and holding it in both hands for a while, as if he were submitting it to the guards for approval. They shook their heads. ‘It has to be a black jacket,’ they said, at which K. , opening the wardrobe himself. He spent a long time looking through all the clothes in there before choosing his best black suit, that had almost caused a stir amongst his acquaintances because of the jacket’s ﬁtted waist.
As soon as he’d recovered himself, he hurried over to Fräulein Bürstner and took her hand. ‘Don’t be afraid,’ he whispered, ‘I’ll sort everything out. But who can it be?
Cambridge by Susanna Kaysen