The Atlantic

The Books Briefing: ’Tis the Season for Parties

Your weekly guide to the best in books
Source: New York Public Library

What better way to celebrate the remaining days of 2018 than by revisiting our favorite literary parties? There’s Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s take on Mrs. Dalloway and the dinner soirée, reimagined under the Donald Trump presidency. And, of course, who can forget Jay Gatsby’s infamous West Egg parties, which have inspired numerous high-school proms and costumed New Year’s shindigs.

That being said, not all fêtes are actually that fun: The author Alexander Chee explains how one scene in Charlotte Brontë’s made him consider justthe oft-ignored and criticized Bennet sisterWhile readers may remember the Netherfield ball for Elizabeth Bennet’s tense (yet titillating) encounter with Mr. Darcy or Jane Bennet’s budding romance with Mr. Bingley, Mary’s story line that night is one of searing, public humiliation. And in Sean Ferrell’s a lonely time-traveler hosts rather unconventional birthday parties: one where he visits his past and future selves, in the same spot, every year.

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