In vivid prose infused with wicked irony, award-winning author Andrea Lee takes us on a dazzling international journey into the hearts and minds of a number of extraordinary women—intelligent, cosmopolitan, and fiercely independent—who, with wit and style, grapple with questions of identity in an increasingly connected world where everyone has become, in some way, a foreigner.
In “The Birthday Present,” a seemingly conventional American wife explores the wilder shores of marital devotion by giving her Italian husband an outrageous gift. “Winter Barley” is the account, alternately lyrical and perverse, of the brief love affair in Scotland between an elderly European prince and a thoroughly modern New England beauty half his age. And in the collection’s title story, “Interesting Women,” a woman on vacation in Thailand reflects with wry detachment on the confessional relationships that spring up between women (“another day, another soul laid bare”), before falling into one herself, which culminates in a hilarious and absurd odyssey through the jungle.
Lee’s beautifully crafted stories offer a rare combination: a sensual evocation of the moment, and profound insight into the underlying struggles—of gender, race, and class—that continue to shape our world. Critically acclaimed when it was first published, this collection is ready to be embraced by a new generation of readers.