The Dud Avocado

Elaine Dundy

The Dud Avocado follows the romantic and comedic adventures of a young American who heads overseas to conquer Paris in the late 1950s. Edith Wharton and Henry James wrote about the American girl abroad, but it was Elaine Dundy’s Sally Jay Gorce who told us what she was really thinking. Charming, sexy, and hilarious, The Dud Avocado gained instant cult status when it was first published and it remains a timeless portrait of a woman hell-bent on living.

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Press

  • "The Dud Avocado is one of the best novels about growing up fast..."

    The Guardian

  • “Basically, if you were to set Henry James’ Portrait of a Lady near the Sorbonne, untangle the sentences and add more slapstick, sex and champagne cocktails, you’re getting close.”

    Rosecrans Baldwin, NPR's "All Things Considered"

  • ""Already singled out in O the Oprah Magazine and named an Amazon.com 'mover and shaker,' this edition will...introduce a new readership to the unforgettable Sally Jay Gorce, described by one reviewer as a cross between Carrie Bradshaw and Holden Caulfield."

    Los Angeles Times

  • "Before Bridget Jones, deeply sweet and recklessly intimate Sally Jay Gorce trolled for love (Parisian style) in novelist (and sometime wife of theater critic Kenneth Tynan) Elaine Dundy's The Dud Avocado, a madcap read from 1958 that's finally back in print in the United States."

    O Magazine

  • "The Dud Avocado follows a charming, if blundering, 21-year-old Missouri native, Sally Jay Gorce, who spends two postcollege years sipping Pernod on "la plus belle avenue du monde," the Champs-Élysées; staging William Saroyan and Tennessee Williams with an American theater troupe, and fumbling terribly at love."

    The New York Sun