In Mrs. Bridge, Evan S. Connell, a consummate storyteller, artfully crafts a portrait using the finest of details in everyday events and confrontations. With a surgeon's skill, Connell cuts away the middle-class security blanket of uniformity to expose the arrested development underneath--the entropy of time and relationships lead Mrs. Bridge's three children and husband to recede into a remote silence, and she herself drifts further into doubt and confusion. The raised evening newspaper becomes almost a fire screen to deflect any possible spark of conversation. The novel is comprised of vignettes, images, fragments of conversations, events--all building powerfully toward the completed group portrait of a family, closely knit on the surface but deeply divided by loneliness, boredom, misunderstandings, isolation, sexual longing, and terminal isolation. In this special fiftieth anniversary edition, we are reminded once again why Mrs. Bridge has been hailed by readers and critics alike as one of the greatest novels in American literature.
Mr. Connell writes of this woman without patronage, without snickers, without, indeed, any comment whatever on what he sets down of her life. He tells her story, less in sketches than in paragraphs, and how it is done I only wish I knew, but he makes Mrs. Bridge, her husband and her children and her neighbors understandable and, because understandable, moving, in his few taut words.” Dorothy Parker, Esquire
Mrs. Bridge is a hell of a portrait . . . She’s as real and as pathetic and as sad as any character I have read in a long time.” Wallace Stegner
For all their satire and dark implications, the novels of the Bridge family remain in the memory as triumphs of faultless realism. Mr. Connell's art is one of restraint and perfect mimicry.” The New York Times