the Dud Avocado by Elaine Dundy (1958)
“”Cheer up, my little avocado” he said to me, pinching my hand. “You know, these American girls are just like avocados. What do you think, am I right, Max? Who ever even heard of an avocado sixty years ago? Yes, that’s what we’re growing nowadays”. His avocado arrived and he looked at it lovingly. “The Typical American girl”, he said, addressing it. “A hard centre with the tender meat all wrapped up in a shiny casing.” He began eating it. “How I love them,” he murmured greedily. “So green – so eternally green.” He winked at me.

Sally Jay Gorce is an American girl with pink hair in Paris. Her uncle is sponsoring her for two years because she held her part of their agreement and got an education. She spends her days drinking in bars, dancing, taking up lovers and trying to get on the stage. She loses her passport after a wild night out and bombards Washington with letters in order to get a new one.

Elaine Dundy has written an amazing and witty portrait about a dazed and confused young girl in search of the meaning of life. The style reminded me of a lot of Patrick Hamilton, Jack Kerouac and a slightly less drunk Charles Bukowski. Were there any female beat writers?