Eliza

Eliza

Barry Pain

Fiction / Humor / European Literature

“The more I think about myself, the more—I say it in all modesty—the subject seems to grow.” So begins The Eliza Stories, and although the book takes Eliza’s name, her husband is revealed to be the true comic hero, as he displays a self-importance that far outstrips his modest station in Edwardian suburbia. Eliza uncomplainingly smoothes over arguments and watches from the sidelines as her other half tries to scramble up the social ladder. From insulting the domestic staff to ill-advisedly lending money to social superiors, our narrator is by turns patronizing and authoritarian. And just when you think you can’t stand anymore, their son Ernest brings a new and sinister twist to the tale. Written and set in the early 1900s, this is a comic gem.
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