The first depiction of radical chic in fiction, The Unpossessed (1934) follows a group of Greenwich Village intellectuals engaged in founding a magazine. In relating the stories of three couples, the novel raises questions that still torment women and men today: Is marriage a viable institution? Should one bear children in hard times? Does sexuality destroy the possibility of significant political action? And what is the political responsibility of intellectuals?
"It's sophisticated . . . full of cutting observations and over-eager images, satiric, then ecstatic, alternating social criticism with displays of sexual and intellectual coquetry."
"The Unpossessed has a ferocious drive, a wild and unfaltering rhythm, a quality of malice and understanding, a complete grasp of most of the characters concerned in the plot, a terrifically effective denouement, and construction that is impeccable."
"She has a keen mind and a cutting wit. There is as fine satire of the intellectual near-revolutionists, the empty 'proletarian' artists as I have seen anywhere. She writes well. At her best, Miss Slesinger has sheer genius."
"A brilliantly written book. Its characters are real people and will be remembered. It could be admired for its display of technical skill alone, or for her satirical gifts, but actually it has much more, especially poetic insight and wisdom."