One of my favorite styles of writing to read is the witty and satirical portrait of how absurd people are. It's very hard to do well. I'm sure I couldn't, although bits of it do filter into my writing. My favorite novel of this type is Mrs. Bridge.
I came upon the book in a funny way. I was reading a non-fiction book about people who collect and resell antiquarian books, and they purchased a copy of Mrs. Bridge and included a generous excerpt from the novel. An entire chapter, I think, which wouldn't be hard because the entire book is written as a series of short chapters, moments in the life of a repressed suburban housewife.
I'd never heard of the book--most 20th century literary fiction isn't really my thing--but I was so impressed by this chapter I purchased the book that very week, and I was gripped from the first line:
"Her first name was India-she was never able to get used to it."
These books are funny but also sad. Occasionally downright dark. Thoughtful. And impeccably written. What else can I say? It's difficult to make a book about a suburban housewife sound like a must-read. But I adore this book. I might just have to go read it again...