In Love and My Face for the World to See, books by Alfred Hayes that were just released in the NYRB Classics series, received significant reviews this week.
In The New York Observer, Michael H. Miller calls In Love “one of the greatest, bleakest breakup stories ever told.” He notes Hayes’s ability to write a relationship—particularly the end of a relationship—in so psychologically astute a way as to make it palpable half a century later.
In The Guardian (UK) Nicholas Lezard also calls attention, in his review of My Face for the World to See, to the way Hayes can write timeless interpersonal situations. He offers high praise indeed:
What makes this book last (once again, I have to salute NYRB for fishing out from obscurity yet another masterpiece) is the glimpse it gives us of the sort of person who goes to Hollywood in order to become famous—her face for all the world to see—only to find herself slipping closer and closer to despair and degradation. The madness of the woman here is so plausibly depicted it chills; she has constructed a world to account for her failure, and reality is only a paper-thin membrane which could dissolve at any moment.
Check out these lasting novels for yourself!