I was reminded this week by an article in The New York Times (in the Styles section, not the book section) that the author Mary McCarthy would have been one hundred years old this year.
McCarthy's book The Group (published in 1962) had a significant impact on my life. I grew up in a simpler time, or so it seems looking back now. Few of my high school friends dated at all, much less enjoyed a sustained relationship with a boy. Forget about having S*E*X—we didn't even talk about it, much less do it. All right, we weren't totally naïve, and we all knew about those girls who "went away" for a few months. There was even one classmate who was dating a football player a year younger, who became pregnant and flaunted it, sitting in the bleachers for all his football games. That was unusual back then.