The Custom of the Country (Modern Library Torchbearers) (Paperback)
The classic satire of New York society and the American Dream through the misadventures of an insatiable young striver—with an introduction by Jia Tolentino, author of Trick Mirror
Ambitious and wholeheartedly materialistic, Undine Spragg is a beautiful heiress who sees men as a means to an end. New York millionaires and French aristocrats fall at her feet, but each conquest is merely a stepping-stone in Undine’s quest for power and position—and in her elusive search for happiness.
A biting satire from one of America’s greatest writers, The Custom of the Country features an antiheroine as compelling and driven as Scarlett O’Hara, a sharp-eyed critique of the marriage market and its objectification of women, and a knowing send-up of Gilded Age snobbery.
The Modern Library Torchbearers series features women who wrote on their own terms, with boldness, creativity, and a spirit of resistance:
AMERICAN INDIAN STORIES • THE AWAKENING • THE CUSTOM OF THE COUNTRY • THE HEADS OF CERBERUS • LADY AUDLEY’S SECRET • LOVE, ANGER, MADNESS • PASSING • THE TRANSFORMATION OF PHILIP JETTAN • VILLETTE
About the Author
Edith Wharton (1862–1937) was born into the upper echelons of New York society. She began writing in 1887, but it was the 1905 publication of her second novel, The House of Mirth, that made her famous. Over the course of her career, Wharton became a bestselling author, worked as a reporter at the French front during World War I (receiving the Cross of the Legion of Honor as a result), and won the Pulitzer Prize.
"Edith Wharton's finest achievement."