The Real Charlotte Simmons

Twenty years ago, writing The Bonfire of the Vanities, Tom Wolfe worried that his novel about Masters of the Universe bond traders and race hustling reverends in New York City would be received as too over—the—top.  Instead, he was roundly criticized for his lack of imagination.  His white bread Sherman McCoy could hardly compare to the reptilian Ivan Boesky and the junk—bond king Michael Milken.  And his race—hustling Reverend Bacon was nowhere near as salty as the Reverend Al Sharpton.  Now in I Am Charlotte Simmons, he has done it again. The real Charlotte Simmons is much more compelling than the fictional one. Two hundred years ago Jane Austen taught us to care about how young women like Charlotte Simmons came to adulthood.  In her two central novels, Mansfield Park and Emma, her two heroines, the timid country cousin Fanny Price and the rich, overconfident Emma Woodhouse, faced profound challenges as they came to...(Read Full Article)

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