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Our Kind: A Novel in Stories

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Our Kind: A Novel in Stories Cover

 

Awards

2004 National Book Award Finalist

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

From the award-winning author of The Gardens of Kyoto comes this witty and incisive novel about the lives and attitudes of a group of women — once country-club housewives; today divorced, independent, and breaking the rules.

In Our Kind, Kate Walbert masterfully conveys the dreams and reality of a group of women who came into the quick rush of adulthood, marriage, and child-bearing during the 1950s. Narrating from the heart of ten companions, Walbert subtly depicts all the anger, disappointment, vulnerability, and pride of her characters: "Years ago we were led down the primrose lane, then abandoned somewhere near the carp pond."

Now alone, with their own daughters grown, they are finally free — and ready to take charge: from staging an intervention for the town deity to protesting the slaughter of the country club's fairway geese, to dialing former lovers in the dead of night.

Walbert's writing is quick-witted and wry, just like her characters, but also, in its cumulative effect, moving and sad. Our Kind is a brilliant, thought-provoking novel that opens a window into the world of a generation and class of women caught in a cultural limbo.

Review:

"Brilliant...Walbert's characters are caught like insects in amber as they make late-in-life discoveries no school could ever teach. Brittle, funny and poignant, this is a prickly treat." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

Review:

"[A] crystalline second novel, Our Kind combines a wistful lyricism with wry humor in its portrayal....Kate Walbert's keen-eyed social observations (not unlike Jane Austen's)...really sparkle." Washington Times

Review:

"[E]xquisite. [T]his gang is the most inviting." Laura Miller, The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"Our Kind is the book you read along with Updike and Cheever...touching and often surreal. Walbert writes...with insight and compassion." Washington Post

Review:

"Our Kind is a brave and beautiful book about love, friendship, and regret. In this remarkable novel, Kate Walbert, one of our finest writers, has given us a slyly comic, quietly shocking, deeply moving group portrait of a vanishing breed of American women." Tom Perotta, author of Election and Little Children

Review:

"[This] 'novel in stories' twines together select tales from the lives of a group of older women in gorgeous but taut lyrical prose. While Woolfian in spirit, the book's sharp, canny social observations are rather more Austenian." Salon.com

Review:

"Whole lives — a generation, an era — are handled with grace, deftness, and skill...Then-and-now prose pieces that, at their best, are among the finest there can be." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"I have never been a huge fan of what are sometimes known as 'related short stories'... [but] Kate Walbert has changed my mind about this. One of the many pleasures to be found in Our Kind, a 'novel in stories,' is the fact that Walbert's chosen genre is acutely suited to her artistic goals." Jennifer Egan, the New York Times Book Review

Synopsis:

From the award-winning author of The Gardens of Kyoto comes this witty and incisive novel about the lives and attitudes of a group of women — once country-club housewives; today divorced, independent, and breaking the rules.

In Our Kind, Kate Walbert masterfully conveys the dreams and reality of a group of women who came into the quick rush of adulthood, marriage, and child-bearing during the 1950s. Narrating from the heart of ten companions, Walbert subtly depicts all the anger, disappointment, vulnerability, and pride of her characters: "Years ago we were led down the primrose lane, then abandoned somewhere near the carp pond."

Now alone, with their own daughters grown, they are finally free — and ready to take charge: from staging an intervention for the town deity to protesting the slaughter of the country club's fairway geese, to dialing former lovers in the dead of night.

Walbert's writing is quick-witted and wry, just like her characters, but also, in its cumulative effect, moving and sad. Our Kind is a brilliant, thought-provoking novel that opens a window into the world of a generation and class of women caught in a cultural limbo.

About the Author

Kate Walbert is the author of Where She Went and The Gardens of Kyoto. She teaches writing at Yale University and lives in New York City with her family.

Table of Contents

Contents

The Intervention

Esther's Walter

Bambi Breaks for Freedom

Screw Martha

Come As You Were

Sick Chicks

Warriors

Back When They Were Children

The Hounds, Again

The Beginning of the End

Product Details

ISBN:
9780743245609
Author:
Walbert, Kate
Publisher:
Scribner Book Company
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Short Stories (single author)
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
B102
Publication Date:
December 2004
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
208
Dimensions:
8 x 5.25 in 6.125 oz

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Our Kind: A Novel in Stories Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$3.50 In Stock
Product details 208 pages Scribner Book Company - English 9780743245609 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Brilliant...Walbert's characters are caught like insects in amber as they make late-in-life discoveries no school could ever teach. Brittle, funny and poignant, this is a prickly treat."
"Review" by , "[A] crystalline second novel, Our Kind combines a wistful lyricism with wry humor in its portrayal....Kate Walbert's keen-eyed social observations (not unlike Jane Austen's)...really sparkle."
"Review" by , "[E]xquisite. [T]his gang is the most inviting."
"Review" by , "Our Kind is the book you read along with Updike and Cheever...touching and often surreal. Walbert writes...with insight and compassion."
"Review" by , "Our Kind is a brave and beautiful book about love, friendship, and regret. In this remarkable novel, Kate Walbert, one of our finest writers, has given us a slyly comic, quietly shocking, deeply moving group portrait of a vanishing breed of American women."
"Review" by , "[This] 'novel in stories' twines together select tales from the lives of a group of older women in gorgeous but taut lyrical prose. While Woolfian in spirit, the book's sharp, canny social observations are rather more Austenian."
"Review" by , "Whole lives — a generation, an era — are handled with grace, deftness, and skill...Then-and-now prose pieces that, at their best, are among the finest there can be."
"Review" by , "I have never been a huge fan of what are sometimes known as 'related short stories'... [but] Kate Walbert has changed my mind about this. One of the many pleasures to be found in Our Kind, a 'novel in stories,' is the fact that Walbert's chosen genre is acutely suited to her artistic goals."
"Synopsis" by , From the award-winning author of The Gardens of Kyoto comes this witty and incisive novel about the lives and attitudes of a group of women — once country-club housewives; today divorced, independent, and breaking the rules.

In Our Kind, Kate Walbert masterfully conveys the dreams and reality of a group of women who came into the quick rush of adulthood, marriage, and child-bearing during the 1950s. Narrating from the heart of ten companions, Walbert subtly depicts all the anger, disappointment, vulnerability, and pride of her characters: "Years ago we were led down the primrose lane, then abandoned somewhere near the carp pond."

Now alone, with their own daughters grown, they are finally free — and ready to take charge: from staging an intervention for the town deity to protesting the slaughter of the country club's fairway geese, to dialing former lovers in the dead of night.

Walbert's writing is quick-witted and wry, just like her characters, but also, in its cumulative effect, moving and sad. Our Kind is a brilliant, thought-provoking novel that opens a window into the world of a generation and class of women caught in a cultural limbo.

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