Misadventures by Sylvia Smith
Part memoir, part comic monologue, this is an ensemble of mishaps and anecdotes that, taken together, reveals the ups and downs of one woman's life. Relentlessly self-deprecating, Sylvia Smith's diary at first seems to relay the humdrum, everydayness of living, yet it steadily gains momentum as a darker undertone gathers force. Interspersed between humorous tales of first-date disasters and "get-rich-quick" schemes gone awry, the reader is thrown off-balance by the loss of sexual innocence and a pervading sense of loneliness. As Sylvia stumbles from one temporary job to another, and through a variety of furnished flats, her deadpan delivery is shot through with moments of sandpaper-dry wit.