John O'Hara: Butterfield 8

(1137 words)

Set in the district of New York City covered by the Butterfield 8 telephone exchange, the story recounts the final days in Gloria Wandrous’s tragically short life in the late spring of 1930. In the throes of an unwelcome love affair with Yale alumnus Weston Liggett, Gloria temporarily purloins a fur coat belonging to Liggett’s wife, visits her best friend illustrator Eddie Brunner, and tries to determine what to do with her life. Flashbacks detail a history of pre-adolescent sexual abuse, liberal misuse of alcohol and, up to this moment, far too many encounters with men. This time, Gloria desperately hopes, will be different. But Liggett displays a casual attitude toward their relationship that leaves Gloria unsure until the …

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MacDonald, James. "Butterfield 8". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 30 November 2007
[, accessed 01 December 2015.]