“What I like about a ship,” Alfred said, “is they have free movies, free food, free games and free soap.”Alfred and Guinevere Gates, brother and sister, seven and eleven, are the children of a fractured and struggling family. The siblings are given to fantasy, insults, lies, speculation, threats, and witty repartee. James Schuyler’s Alfred and Guinevere (1958) is a charming, inconclusive novel told entirely through dialogue, diary entries, and letters. it’s available once again from New York Review Books.
“So do hotels,” Guinevere said.
“Hotels don’t either have free movies. And they can’t float."
“They can’t sink, either.”
More James Schuyler posts
Mildred Bailey, the stars, and us
The poem “December”
Willa Cather and James Schuyler