Molly Benson longs to be useful, and forges ahead by giving away sums of her own money in a rather messy manner. In Princeton, New Jersey, where she has always lived, Molly is viewed as eccentric by the upper-class world that her mother inhabits. Equally puzzling to people is Molly's passion for Graham Greene and his novels; she believes that their intermittent correspondence has afforded them a special bond. After the death of her brother, Molly loves Greene more than anyone, and it is he who inspires her to answer to conscience.
It is in honor of the great novelist, a year after his death in 1991, that Molly leads a small delegation to Algiers, where a fierce civil war has just begun. Molly's plan is to give money to Algerian journalists and writers so that they will be able to protect themselves from the fundamentalists, who are killing the enemies of Islam. It does not occur to Molly that she is putting herself, her best friend, Bertie Einhorn, and a young, garrulous English historian, Toby Plunkett, in danger. Her courage and an inbred sense of self-entitlement--a characteristic of the small Princeton world she scorns--blind her to the possibilities of harm, and the odd little group marches to disaster.
Comic and touching in turn, Loving Graham Greene is a splendid combination of American high hopes and obstinacy, of foolishness and betrayal, in the first novel of a gifted and witty writer.
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Advance praise for Loving Graham Greene
" It's elegant, original, tartly funny where it can be, and altogether beguiling on the face of the unspeakable, which everywhere hovers on the outskirts of this fascinating story--a story, one imagines, that Greene himself would have greatly enjoyed."
"This is a passionate novel, written with great skill. It is a book about pity and its consequences, and a woman who would not stand aside."
About the Author:
"What a wonderful book. I love it and love Molly. Gloria Emerson writes about the karma of being American. Loving Graham Greene is a great global novel; its quixotic heroine dares to live the ideals we hold dear."
--Maxine Hong Kingston
Gloria Emerson's book Winners & Losers, on the Vietnam War and its effects on Americans, won a National Book Award in 1978. She has traveled to El Salvador, Gaza, and Algiers.
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