Never Say Stark Naked

Marjory Bassett
ISBN 9781566492461 (hardcover)
Published in May 2002
MSRP $25.00
“A masterful first novel.” - Olivia Goldsmith, author of The First Wives Club

“Never Say Stark Naked is a welcome and delightful diversion and reminded me of so many good things – my childhood, my parents, the way life used to be when honor and integrity prevailed.” - Dorothea Benton Frank, author of Plantation and Sullivan's Island

“The absolutely real and the hilariously absurd are made perfect partners in this work of exceptional imagination.” - Stanley Crouch

“Marjory Bassett tells the story of a young woman's adventures in New York with a sense of humor, a fresh eye, and much wisdom. Never Say Stark Naked captures what it is like to be young, and makes you wish you could have those years over again.” - Alice Elliot Dark, author of In the Gloaming

During a New Year's Eve blizzard in Kansas, 22-year-old Phoebe Stanhope and her husband Niles are entertaining their best friends Marcia and Red-Jack Ordall. During dinner, on the threshold of the year 1959, Marcia and Niles announce they have been “seeing each other” and are seeking divorces. Enraged, Red-Jack storms out with Marcia in tow. Phoebe, devastated by the news, hurls angry words at Niles, who drives off in the snowstorm. In the treacherous night, Niles loses control of the car and is killed instantly in a crash.
Already dazed with grief and overwhelmed by her feelings of culpability, Phoebe receives one more piece of staggering news: Marcia is pregnant with Niles' child. Suddenly, Phoebe's small-town world seems to close in on her, constricting her life and choices. Her only choice is to flee: she boards a train headed to New York City, hoping to never have to look back.
Phoebe quickly finds work assisting Selmabelle Flaunton, a flamboyant public relations executive and socialite. Plunged into a universe of lavish parties and sophisticated chatter, her naivete makes her a refreshing, enticing oddity among the glamorous and cynical. But ultimately, Phoebe cannot disregard the agony of her past if she is to fight to belong and to be happy in her adopted city.
Set against the stylish, elegant backdrop of upper-crust New York in the 1950s, Never Say Stark Naked is a deeply touching and humorous novel of a woman's choice to live, laugh and love again after a devastating loss.

Marjory Bassett was for many years chair of the literary committee of the National Arts Club in New York. Originally from Kansas, she graduated of the University of Iowa, where she performed in theatrical productions and on the air. She worked in international public relations and broadcasting and published features in Newsday and the Philadelphia Inquirer.