The Mad Angel
by Jennifer Code

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The Mad Angel – by Jennifer Code
 
Product details
Paperback: 296 pages
Publisher: Ódrerir Books
ISBN: 9780987138194
Trim size: 229 x 152 mm
 
Synopsis   
Australian-born Jennifer Code is a linguist, researcher, and writer who grew up in Oxford, Massachusetts. The daughter of an Australian war-bride and a U.S. Marine, Jennifer’s life and career have spanned two continents.

Jennifer holds both a Diploma in Arts and Design from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) and a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Melbourne, where she studied English and Scandinavian Literature and Languages. During her graduate studies she was the first woman and the first Australian to receive The Strindberg Scholarship and was invited to live and study at the Strindberg Museum in Stockholm. In 1993, she was awarded a PhD from the University of Melbourne for her dissertation on the post-inferno dramas of the Swedish writer, August Strindberg. Her translations and interpretations of Strindberg’s work were highly recognized internationally.

In the 1990s, Jennifer returned to the United States where she worked as Manager of Acquisitions at the American Antiquarian Society in Worcester, Massachusetts. During this period, she began writing short prose pieces and longer fiction works. Jennifer was a member of the Worcester County Poetry Association and contributed to publications and programming including a collaboration with the Worcester Arts Museum on their Hudson River paintings.

After more than a decade spent in the United States, she returned to Australia in 2004 where she served as co-chair of the Deakin Literary Society of Melbourne. Jennifer wrote and shared ‘The Lily stories’ with this group; many of these stories are found in the chapters of her book, The Mad Angel.
 
2/12/2021
Name : Jackey Coyle
Location : Australia
Title : The Mad Angel
Review : Jennifer Code's Lily stories make addictive reading. They conjure up a world we experience through the eyes of a child, where terror rubs shoulders with wonder in the day-to-day encounters that echo through adult life. Code chooses each word and imbues each sentence with the rhythm of a mesmerising storyteller, underlaid with an impish wit and the unshrinking precision of a journalist. This detail builds a strong sense of place that locates us firmly in each setting. As Code guides us into the makeup of each character and how it formed, we find some degree of empathy with even the most awful-seeming. For example, the character of Betsy evoked my own memory of my cousins' stories of the aunt I never met, who went as a war bride to settle in the US. I can now see that her bitterness in later life was not unique. This situation caused psychological damage that reverberates down the generations. At that time, directly after WWII, women were being pushed back into the home, giving up wartime freedoms and responsibilities in order to give men jobs and to build homes and families. In return, they often endured a tough and lonely life with a traumatised husband, the sole breadwinner who was absent for long hours as he also retrieved his opportunity to be educated. Women were often isolated from support from family and peers, being sole child carer in a newly built suburb with little in the way of infrastructure. This is an important book that has come about over many years, giving it a depth that many novels fail to achieve.

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