NCL 188 – A Population of One by Constance Beresford-Howe


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A Population of One  was not included in Series One and Series Two.


A Population of One by Constance Beresford-Howe (New Canadian Library N188)Series Three

From the Back Cover:

“To know Willy is [to] know ourselves better, for Beresford-Howe looks deep into women’s hearts and lives and writes of them superbly.” – Publishers Weekly

From the acclaimed author of The Book of Eve, comes the splendidly crafted story of a woman’s struggle to grasp what she imagines are the possibilities of life after a long overdue emergence from the shadow of her dominating parents and their fractured marriage. Armed with a Ph. D. in English literature and a burning ambition for a mate, or at least a lover, thirty-year-old Wilhelmina Doyle arrives at a small Montreal college where she finds a job as a lecturer. In the turbulent campus atmosphere of the late 1960’s, Willy has her first experiences with men: Louis-Phillipe, the lecherous building superintendent; Bill Trueblood, an attractive but inaccessible colleague; Mike Armstrong, a rich-kid student radical with an amorous interest in his professor; and finally Archie Benson-Clarke, the English department head and an old curmudgeon. This story is told with humour and a brilliant sense of the comic self-deceptions and ludicrous situations which come of our belief in the predictability of life. A Population of One deals with loneliness and the struggle for love, but it is also about a single woman’s ambiguous achievement of self-sufficiency.


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