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I Thought of Daisy

Afterword author(s): 
Neale Reinitz

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278 pages

“What needs to be [said] is how good, if ungainly, Daisy is, how charmingly and intelligently she tells of the speakeasy days of a Greenwich Village as red and cozy as a valentine, of lamplit islands where love and ambition and drunkenness bloomed all at once. The fiction writer in Wilson was real, and his displacement is a real loss.”—John Updike, Hugging the Shore.

Originally published in 1929, I Thought of Daisy is the first of three novels by Edmund Wilson. Written while he was still balancing his ambitions as a novelist against a successful career in literary criticism, I Thought of Daisy marries Wilson's two vocations to create an unusual and revealing work of fiction.

Daisy depicts the inner struggle of a young man who forsakes the bohemian world of Greenwich Village to seek his American ideal in the person of a chorus girl. Set in the 1920s, a vital period in Wilson’s life, the novel is crowded with recognizable characters drawn from his contemporaries, particularly his colleague John Dos Passos and his lover Edna St. Vincent Millay.