1997 "First St. Martin's Press Edition: June 1997" stated; "The Chronicle of One of the Strangest Stories Ever to be Rumoured About Around New York"; St. Martin's Press, New York; smaller hardbound in ebony boards with silver lettering along spine; very good condition with unmarked pages, appears unread; dust jacket very good.
Not since "The Gingerman "has J.P. Donleavy succeeded in both delighting and irking his readers as he has with "The Lady Who Like Clean Restrooms. "This stylish novella tells the tale of Jocelyn Guenevere Marchantiere Jones, whose Scarsdale life comes to an abrupt end when her husband goes in search of a bit of "fresh flesh." Soon she is fending for herself in New York City, where finding a clean restroom will prove to be the least of her concerns.
Mrs. Jocelyn Guenevere Marchantiere Jones sweeps onto the scene as the doyenne of an estimable house and fortune in Scarsdale. Although her South Carolinian, socially registered grandmother disapproved of anything above the Mason-Dixon line, Jocelyn still honors her code of behavior: ''Your snobberies are the most preciously valuable asset you will ever have in life, cherish them well. Avoid unbrave men and when you're away from your own trusted lavatory, only go to the cleanest of places.'' But Jocelyn's certainties are tested when her husband leaves her for a bit of ''fresh flesh.'' Ever the lady, Jocelyn proposes modest terms for the divorce and holds her course through financial collapse. What follows is a freewheeling tour of our heroine's ''unexpurgated thoughts'' as fortune bounces her down the peculiar social ladder that separates Scarsdale from Yonkers, Yonkers from the Bronx -- and the New World nouveaux riches from the ''dignified homeless indigent.'' Donleavy proves himself as much the master of a certain New York social set and train corridor as he is of the psyche of a fresh-mouthed 43-year-old Daughter of the Confederacy. The reader cheers for Jocelyn as she fends off her friends' husbands, brandishes a .38-caliber Smith & Wesson and lives for her trips to Manhattan's museums. But her search for the city's cleanest restrooms becomes increasingly desperate, leading Jocelyn finally to a funeral parlor and a quite shocking reversal of fate. Eight elegant line drawings by Elliott Banfield complement Donleavy's slim text, depicting moments of scandal with a restraint that would do Jocelyn's grandmother proud.
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