L’Heureux, John (1934-2019 )
American author of such works of fiction as Quick As Dandelions, The Miracle, Having Everything, The Shrine at Altamira, Comedians, An Honorable Profession, and A Woman Run Mad. A former Jesuit priest (he left the order in 1971) and contributing editor to The Atlantic Monthly, he taught at Georgetown, Tufts, Harvard, and was a professor of English at Stanford University since 1973.
THE COMEDIANS; 1984; Firefly Press, Somerville, MA. Signed by the author and limited 50 copies, this being #50. Printed on Rives paper and bound in boards. Boards and interior clean and fresh; near mint.
SYNOPSIS: Corinne and her husband Russ are surprised that she has become pregnant and are a bit nonplussed by her condition. At thirty-eight years of age, Corinne thinks she is a little old to be having her first child; the timing is especially awkward because her career as a stand-up comedian seems to be about to take off. Her gynecologist agrees with her and suggests that she consider having an abortion. Over the next few months, this question dominates Corinne’s life.
Before long, however, the baby enters Corinne’s internal conversation: The baby, she thinks, has begun singing. Sometimes the songs are Broadway show tunes, sometimes operatic arias. Although mystified and unable to explain the strange phenomenon, Corinne has trouble denying that it is really happening.
Three months into her pregnancy, Corinne begins to get bookings at comedy clubs, and it seems to her that the baby sings even more exuberantly just before her performances. She goes over well at one club but is not renewed because, the club’s owner says, her humor is all mental stuff: It lacks guts or feeling. She is not surprised. Almost everyone in California smiles a lot, she thinks, but few seem to laugh much.