YVONNE PUIG reads from her debut novel A WIFE OF NOBLE CHARACTER

A Wife of Noble Character (Henry Holt & Company)

Imagine Edith Wharton’s Lily Bart transported from the Gilded Age to present-day Houston. Her world would have less taffeta, more beer. Her search for love would take her to Texas-big parties, not velvet parlors. And the hush-hush small talk of New York’s drawing rooms would be replaced with Lone Star straight talk. This is the reimagined setting writer Yvonne Georgina Puig has created in her debut novel, A Wife of Noble Character, inspired by Wharton’s The House of Mirth. This sparkling novel shifts from Houston to Paris and back while Puig rekindles the perennial conversation on self-worth when it comes to women and marriage, as apt (and fraught) today as it was then. 

Vivienne Cally, heiress to the once-mighty Cally Petroleum fortune, is wealthy only in name, and has been raised to marry a wealthy and respectable man to maintain the extravagant lifestyle she’s accustomed to. The problem is finding the right one. There’s Preston Duffin, a rising architect who lacks financial means. There’s Bucky Lawler, who is not lacking for money, but comes packaged with his good-ole-boy and deep Christian beliefs—hardly progressive. Vivienne’s best friends, Waverly and Karlie, juggle being supportive with gossiping, and they don’t understand why their friend won’t settle down. What’s a girl to do? As Vivienne strikes out to set herself on a career path while finding love, she hits bumps in the road that take her to the depths of humiliation, and she is faced with choices and soul searching about what is most important in life.

Colorful and cinematic, Puig’s first novel—a true comedy of manners—is true to Houston, where she grew up like her characters. This year, she is one of three participants in the Edith Wharton Writer-in-Residence Program at the Mount, where writers spend two weeks living and working in Wharton’s home in Lenox, MA. 

Praise for A Wife of Noble Character

"Satire, social commentary, and Texas: just a few of the riches you'll find in A Wife of Noble Character. Inspired by Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth, this sharply drawn novel about Houston's oil-money elite strikes a beautiful balance—rollicking at times while deeply felt at others. It's a comedy of manners about what it's like to be wealthy in name only." ―

"A fresh, funny look at what it means to be an adult in the 21st century and a juicy Texan comedy of manners, at its heart, A Wife of Noble Character is a good old fashioned love story." ― Sarah Bird, author of Above the East China Sea

A Wife of Noble Character is a wildly unique creation: A social novel that is simultaneously classic and utterly modern. I found it sharply insightful, lyrically written, and often laugh-out-loud funny; and could barely put it down until the last page. Puig is a talented satirist and a breathtakingly astute observer of character." ― Janelle Brown, author of All We Ever Wanted Was Everything

Yvonne Georgina Puig's fiction and essays have appeared in Salon, Variety, Los Angeles Magazine, and The Texas Observer, among others. She holds a Masters in Professional Writing from USC. She lives in Santa Monica with her husband.

photo by Coben Seymour

Event date: 
Wednesday, September 7, 2016 - 7:30pm
Event address: 
1818 N Vermont Ave
Los Angeles, CA 90027
A Wife of Noble Character Cover Image
ISBN: 9781627795555
Availability: Not in stock. Available To Order.
Published: Henry Holt & Company - August 2nd, 2016