Angus Wilson: The Wrong Set

(504 words)
  • Marina MacKay (University of Durham)

This story collection caused a sensation when it first appeared; Edmund Wilson found himself hailing the next Evelyn Waugh. However complimentary the intention, it was perhaps misleading to liken Wilson's stories to Waugh's. The distinctive features are: an acute sensitivity to the nuances of social class, graphic descriptions of often-disgusting physical detail and an obsessive interest in fraud and self-deception. Wilson's fiction is far more cruel that Waugh's simply because his sense of telling detail is much more precise.

The story from which the collection gets its title is about a pianist, Vi, who scrapes a living in shabby clubs alongside her sleazy lover, discovers that her nephew, a student, has become involved in left …

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MacKay, Marina. "The Wrong Set". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 08 January 2001
[, accessed 27 November 2015.]