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One Afternoon in Vermont

Lisa Alther
p. 267-271

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Studied authors :

Elizabeth Spencer

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Ce document sera publié en ligne en texte intégral en juin 2021.

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The first time I met Elizabeth Spencer was in the early 1980s at the home of a mutual friend in Burlington, Vermont. She had come down from Montreal, where she would live for twenty-eight years with her British husband John Rusher, to tour some of the little Vermont villages, with greens surrounded by white-frame churches, schools, town halls and general stores. Our mutual friend was an English professor and writer, originally from Atlanta. Our conversation that summer afternoon, as we sat in a second-story window looking down at a leafy green back yard, was a typically southern one—no abstractions, just humorous anecdotes that nevertheless did sometimes make abstract points. As Elizabeth says about some characters in her courageous 1956 anti-white-supremacist novel The Voice at the Back Door, “They were silent for a moment, knowing in common with all Southerners that when the knot got too tangled it was just as well left alone. It was just as well to tell a story.”

Elizabeth and I ...

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Référence papier

Lisa Alther, « One Afternoon in Vermont », Journal of the Short Story in English, 72 | 2019, 267-271.

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Lisa Alther, « One Afternoon in Vermont », Journal of the Short Story in English [En ligne], 72 | Spring 2019, mis en ligne le 01 juin 2021, consulté le 28 novembre 2020. URL :


Lisa Alther

Lisa Alther was born and grew up in Kingsport, Tennessee, and now lives in Tennessee and Vermont. She has published seven novels, a book of short stories, a narrative history of the Hatfield-McCoy feud, and two memoirs. They have been translated into seventeen languages, and four were New York Times bestsellers. Her novel Swan Song: An Odyssey will be published in June of 2020.

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