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Cassandra at the Wedding
Cassandra is the witty, high-maintenance, suicidal, gay identical twin of conventional, practical, family-minded Judith. The twins, after a period of creepily-extreme intimacy that lasted into their early twenties, have gone their separate ways, but now they’re reuniting at their family’s California ranch for Judith’s wedding, an intimate family affair that Cassandra is bound to ruin one way or another. In sections that alternate masterfully between the twins’ voices, Dorothy Baker reveals the inner workings of the kind of family a female Wes Anderson might invent: rich, weird, literate, boozy and tilting glamorously but darkly out of control. Originally published in 1962, the book illustrates and subverts the conventions of its time, while anticipating, in Cassandra, literary antiheroines who were soon to join her indelible ranks.
Dorothy Baker wrote three novels, including Man With A Horn (also an NYRB Classic) and several plays. She died in 1968 at the age of 61.