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Pointed Roofs

Pointed Roofs by Dorothy Richardson
By: (1873-1957)

Miriam Henderson is one of what novelist Dolf Wyllarde (in her great work, The Pathway of the Pioneer) termed "nous autres," i.e., young gentlewomen who must venture forth and earn their living after their fathers have been financially ruined. Also, she has read Villette; she thus applies for and is offered a job teaching conversational English at a girls' school, albeit in Germany rather than France. Pointed Roofs describes her year abroad, as she endeavors to make her way in the hotbed of seething female personalities that populate the school, overseen by her employer, the formidable Fraulein.

Richardson is adroit at conveying nuances of human perception through acutely observed physical and emotional detail. She was unfortunately labeled the inventor of stream of consciousness, and her later novels suffered when she started believing her own press; but her early ones (the first half-dozen are pre-1923) are free from stylistic excess, and are poignant -- or in this case -- pointed explorations of the workings of the human mind. (Introduction by Grant Hurlock)

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