Dawn Powell: The Wicked Pavilion

The latest addition to my website is Dawn Powell‘s The Wicked Pavilion. This is another wicked mocking of New York society from Powell, this one set around the Café Julien, where all the characters pass through at some time during the book. We follow tales of love gone wrong, ambitious people thwarted in their ambitions, backbiting and gossip and, in particular, a damnation of all sides of the art world – artists, critics, journalists, dealers, patrons and art lovers. All lack integrity and all are interested in money and sex and not much else – certainly not art. However, no-one is spared, not just the art world. Lovers, Boston society, parents, friends, husband hunters, husbands, wives, all are grist to Powell’s mill. It is very funny and while New York has undoubtedly changed in the seventy years since this book was set, the morality and integrity almost certainly have not.

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