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14 July 2020

New book on the portrait of contemporary female life is released

Professor Lara Feigel launches her debut novel, 'The Group', a book about female friendship and anger.

Left photo portrays Professor Lara Feigel and right photo presents a photo of the book cover, with words 'Lara Fiegel the group'

Professor Lara Feigel in the King's English Department debuts her first novel, The Group, a fiercely intelligent and revealing book about a group of female friends turning forty. The book is a modern reimaging of Mary MacCarthy's 1963 novel of the same name, which is a bold portrayal of sex, contraception, and lesbianism among an elite group of scandalised American female graduates.

The Group explores the relations between men and women in an age where the Me Too movement and feminism are prominent. Questions such as who has children, and who does not? Whose marriages are working, whose are not? And who has embarked on completely different models of sexuality and relationships are central to the themes of the book.


This book began in my late 30s when I was coming to terms with the way that my life didn’t resemble the life I’d planned for myself in my twenties. Reading McCarthy’s 'The Group' showed me that this can be a group enterprise. I also thought about the ways that women are still facing many of the same frustrations and challenges they were confronting 60 years ago."

Professor Lara Feigel

The book has received positive reviews from critics who note it is "an elegant, vivid, fascinating novel" and has been reviewed extensively by The Guardian.

The Group works because there is nothing self-satisfied in its tone . . . The mix of caustic insights and sudden tenderness make the group dynamics arrestingly real."

The Guardian

A very funny and brilliant book. Feigel does a thorough and virtuosic job of describing the dilemmas of contemporary middle-class women."

Rachel Cusk

The Group by Professor Lara Feigel is published by John Murray Press and is now available to purchase online for £16.99.

In this story

Lara Feigel

Professor of Modern Literature and Culture