Author(s): David Plante, M. D.
Difficult Women, the book with which David Plante made his name, presents three portraits-each one of them as detailed, textured, and imposing as the those of Lucian Freud-of three extraordinary, complicated, and, yes, difficult women, while also raising intriguing and in their own way difficult questions about the character and motivations of the keenly and often cruelly observant portraitist himself. The book begins with Plante's portrait of Jean Rhys in her old age, when after years of silence that had left her great novels of the 1920s and '30s virtually unknown, she published The Wide Sargasso Sea and became a minor celebrity. Rhys, however, can hardly be said to be enjoying her new success. A terminal alcoholic, she curses and staggers and rants in the hotel room she has chosen to live in like King Lear on the heath, while Plante looks impassively on. Sonia Orwell is Plante's second subject, a suave exploiter and hapless victim of her beauty and social prowess, while the unflappable, brilliant, and impossibly opinionated Germaine Greer sails through the final pages of Plante's book, ever ready to set the world, and any erring companion, right.
David Plante's dazzling portraits of three influential women in the literary world, now back in print for the first time in decades.
David Plante is the author of several novels, including his lauded Francoeur Trilogy -The Family, The Country, and The Woods. He has also written several works of nonfiction in addition to Difficult Women, most recently The Pure Lover, Becoming a Londoner, and Worlds Apart.Scott Spencer has written eleven novels, including Endless Love, Walking the Dead, and the forthcoming River Under the Road. He has also written journalism for The New York Times, The New Yorker, Harper's Magazine, GQ, and Rolling Stone. He lives in upstate New York.