Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Excerpts from Bea’s Novel (1)

In 1937, Bea was 28.

I find three handwritten pages, part of a draft for a novel. Here is an excerpt:

“Life was full of zest. Ellen, at 28, was discovering herself. Intellectual circles, artistic circles, social circles – she swung from one to the other, dressed accordingly. Maybe it was the Rainbow Room or the little Greek restaurant on E. 28th Street. For many months, flat-shoed and seemingly in love with the abstract artist. Then an old beau who taught Latin at Groton would come to town, and she would fight off his frustrated kisses after brook trout and French wine at Voisin’s.

But always there, pushed out of her consciousness was the younger schizophrenic brother, Hunter. Even his haunting name hurt. In those days Hunter was already at the Hartford Retreat, and there was nothing she ever did that was harder than going to see him. How he looked one day at her metal necklace, as if he would wrench it off and her neck with it! He had to get well, and she tried in her feeble way to counsel her grieving parents, to help them. But so much did she believe in the influence of environment that she blamed them for his breakdown and never forgave herself after that for adding to their pain …”


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