Review: ‘In Praise of Older Women’

Review of ‘In Praise of Older Women’ by Stephen Vizinczey.

The Oxford Culture Review

I picked In Praise of Older Women (Stephen Vizinczey) off the shelf based upon the recommendations on the cover – it is hailed as ‘One of the great novels of the second half of the twentieth century’ (Harry Reid), in which ‘women appear as the sole refuge, the great consolation’ (Naim Kattan), ‘it is … for men who love women’ (Clarence Petersen). Written as the memoir of philosopher András Vajda and set in Hungary at the close of the Second World War, it was an immediate bestseller and sensation upon its publication in 1965. This edition, published by Penguin Modern Classics in 2010, presents it as a novel for the modern age, Jaromir Funke’s 1927 Nude glancing seductively from the cover. So, intrigued, and hopeful for profound insights into the nature of male and female relationships, I began to read.

The novel set off to a promising start – I…

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