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Wretched Exotic

Essays on Edith Wharton in Europe


Katherine Joslin and Alan Price

Marking a new direction in Edith Wharton studies, this collection of provocative essays considers her as a cross-cultural writer. A resident of France for the last thirty years of her life, Wharton described herself as a «wretched exotic», an American by birth, but a European by inclination and, in fundamental ways, a true citizen of neither. Shari Benstock, Millicent Bell, and Susan Goodman discuss the ambivalent nature of her long residence in France. Their biographical accounts provide background for essays by Cynthia Griffin Wolff, Linda Wagner-Martin, Judith Sensibar, Roger Asselineau, and other leading scholars who analyze Wharton as an expatriate, a European traveler, a WWI participant, and an international literary figure.