The Big Wolves

Wilbur Sanders, Author New Amsterdam Books $18.95 (252p) ISBN 978-1-56131-005-0
Sanders's first novel is a tragicomic love story set in England during the socially fluid 1970s. Anya, a white South African, is an emotional and vindictive woman whose view of life is refracted through complicated feelings about her homeland (as a teenager, she fell in love with a black revolutionary). Now the owner of a trendy London dress shop, Anya finds her livelihood threatened by her messy, noisy new neighbor, a cantankerous sculptor named Laczi who fled his native Hungary in 1956. Anya's bullyish tactics result in colorful verbal sparring, which they both enjoy; Sanders's keen ear for language enlivens this intense courtship. In a swift, jolting succession of events, Laczi's work suddenly becomes fashionable, he and Anya marry and buy a home deep in the country. But Anya's dissatisfaction with the role of muse causes a breakdown that sends her back to London, where she becomes involved in left-wing politics. Her disastrous encounter with a xenophobic Thatcherite England forms a sober epilogue to a consistently entertaining novel. (June)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1990
Release date: 04/01/1998
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