DO NOT google "xingu" and forgive me for going off-topic.
Hello peeps, and welcome to the fourth installment of What I Read Tuesday (WIRT) where I write about my latest read as I work my way through 2015 Around the World Reading Challenge, the PopSugar Reading Challenge, and complete my personal Goodreads Reading Challenge of reading 50 books this year (I am so behind). You can imagine how worried I was when I realized that my monthly WIRT would fall under the letter “X” and you can now imagine how happy I felt when I found “Xingu” by Edith Wharton. What a great short story (it should take less than 90 minutes to read) and it is available free through Project Gutenberg. Click here for Xingu.
Meet the ladies of the Lunch Club, a book club composed of several (apparently) high-society ladies in Hillbridge, a small town. The aim of the club, as described by one of them, is to “concentrate the highest tendencies of Hillbridge – to centralise and focus its intellectual effort.” They “aspire to be in touch with whatever is highest in art, literature, and ethics.” Sounds good, right? The problem is that most of them don’t really seem to know whatever all that means.
This is a really funny story about the Queen Bee(s) of the time. Edith Wharton (1862 – 1937), a Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist, short story writer, and designer was known for her humorous insider’s criticism of America’s privileged classes. Xingu is no exception and in under 50 pages gives us social and psychological insight into the snobs of the time (some which are very much relevant today).
It’s easy to give the punchline away so I will only ask that you read it yourself. I can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t enjoy this short story. For book club members it is a must. I’m sure you know (or are) one of the ladies in this group.