Toward the end of Patrick deWitt’s new novel, French Exit, its sexagenarian protagonist admits while she’s touring Paris’s Musée d’Orsay with a friend that her life might appear a cliché. “[And,] yes, my life is riddled by clichés,” Frances Price says, “but do you know what a cliché is? It’s a story so old and thrilling that it’s grown old in its hopeful retelling.”
That iffy definition of cliché is strange sugar-coating coming from the usually acerbic Frances. Yet it’s true that the broad strokes of Frances’s life will be old hat to anyone remotely familiar with that huge genre of fiction focused on wealth, its trappings, and its cyclical loss. Frances was born in New York City to privilege and married a litigator named Franklin Price who amassed a fortune via vague, unethical means. Twenty years before the book begins, Franklin was found by Frances dead in their bed, ostensibly killed by what the...
To read this article, you must buy the issue or have LRC Web Full-Text Access.
If you already have Web Full-Text Access to Literary Review of Canada content, please log in with one of the two options below.
If not, sign up today!
- Not already an LRC subscriber? Subscribe today, and be sure to select either the “DIGITAL” or “PRINT and DIGITAL” option. You’ll then be entitled to read this — and other magazine content from past and current issues — in full! (Note: Web Full-Text Access will take effect the following business day.)
- Already a subscriber to the LRC‘s Print edition, but haven’t yet signed up for Web Full-Text Access? Contact us and we’ll reply right away with instructions on how to upgrade your existing subscription.
Log In Option 1
Log In Option 2
* Subscribers who have chosen to receive both the LRC‘s print and digital editions can find their subscriber number in the address area of any recent printed copy cover, above their name; it is six digits long, immediately following “LRC.”