The Last Resort
A Pulitzer Prize–winning author’s “sparkling, smart” tale of an aging writer and his younger wife looking for new life—or a way to end it—in Key West (The New York Times).
Every schoolboy in America knows the work of author Wilkie Walker, who won fame and fortune with his accessible nature books. But as he turns seventy, his renown is nearly gone. Now he sits up at night torturing himself with fears that his career was a waste, his talent is gone, and his body destroyed by cancer. His wife, Jenny, twenty-five years younger, can tell only that he is out of sorts. She has no idea her husband is on the verge of giving up on life.
When Jenny suggests spending the winter in Key West, Wilkie goes along with it. After all, if you need to plan a fatal “accident,” Florida is a perfectly good place to do so. And when they touch down in the sunshine state, the Walkers find it’s not too late to live life—or end it—however they damn well please.
The National Book Award–shortlisted author of Foreign Affairs Affairs, The War Between the Tates, and The Last Resort writes a “sparkling, smart . . . highly volatile” novel (The New York Times).
This ebook features an illustrated biography of Alison Lurie including rare images from the author’s collection.
It's been much too long--10 years, in fact--since Lurie's last novel, and her new one, like her most successful previous outings, Foreign Affairs and The War Between the Tates, has a delightfully punning title. For the last resort, in this case, is that end-of-the-line city Key West, and it is also the suicide being grimly contemplated in the sunshine by celebrated naturalist Wilkie Walker. Wilkie, convinced that time has passed him by and that anyway he has cancer, has begun to be brusque with his beloved and ultra-loyal wife, Jenny. Determined to drown himself from a handy beach, he finds fate intervening with infuriating regularity. Meanwhile, Jenny, feeling abandoned, is beginning to taste the pleasures of lesbian love with Lee Weiss, a veteran earth-mother islander who runs a women-only guesthouse. Then there's handsome gardener Jacko, who has AIDS, his bumbling, animal-loving cousin Barbie and her ferocious mother, Myra, and ex-Beat California poet Gerry, who also has eyes for Jenny. Lurie puts her well-chosen cast through their paces with expert aplomb and with often hilarious and occasionally touching results. She is as witty as ever, if not quite as malevolent as of yore, and the novel is a perfect summer read: entertainment that is at once highly intelligent and mildly edifying. 35,000 first printing; author tour.