Star Wars Sale
 
 

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN!

Weekly drawing for $100 credit. Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

More at Powell's


Recently Viewed clear list


Original Essays | June 20, 2014

Lisa Howorth: IMG So Many Books, So Many Writers



I'm not a bookseller, but I'm married to one, and Square Books is a family. And we all know about families and how hard it is to disassociate... Continue »
  1. $18.20 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    Flying Shoes

    Lisa Howorth 9781620403013

spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$9.50
Used Hardcover
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
1 Burnside Literature- A to Z
1 Local Warehouse Literature- A to Z

More copies of this ISBN

A Good Hard Look

by

A Good Hard Look Cover

ISBN13: 9781594202926
ISBN10: 1594202923
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

Only 2 left in stock at $9.50!

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In Flannery O'Connor's hometown of Milledgeville, Georgia, reckless relationships lead to a tragedy that forever alters the town and the author herself.

Crippled by lupus at twenty-five, celebrated author Flannery O'Connor was forced to leave New York City and return home to Andalusia, her family farm in Milledgeville, Georgia. Years later, as Flannery is finishing a novel and tending to her menagerie of peacocks, her mother drags her to the wedding of a family friend.

Cookie Himmel embodies every facet of Southern womanhood that Flannery lacks: she is revered for her beauty and grace; she is at the helm of every ladies' organization in town; and she has returned from her time in Manhattan with a rich fiancé, Melvin Whiteson. Melvin has come to Milledgeville to begin a new chapter in his life, but it is not until he meets Flannery that he starts to take a good hard look at the choices he has made. Despite the limitations of her disease, Flannery seems to be more alive than other people, and Melvin is drawn to her like a moth to a candle flame.

Melvin is not the only person in Milledgeville who starts to feel that life is passing him by. Lona Waters, the dutiful wife of a local policeman, is hired by Cookie to help create a perfect home. As Lona spends her days sewing curtains, she is given an opportunity to remember what it feels like to be truly alive, and she seizes it with both hands.

Heartbreakingly beautiful and inescapably human, these ordinary and extraordinary people chart their own courses through life. In the aftermath of one tragic afternoon, they are all forced to look at themselves and face up to Flannery's observation that "the truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it."

Review:

"Napolitano's second novel (after Within Arm's Reach) is a study in the rural milieu of Milledgeville, Ga., whose famous resident is known not only for her writing, but also for keeping peacocks and for other colorful proclivities. Wealthy New Yorker Melvin Whiteson meets Flannery O'Connor at his wedding to the beautiful but insecure Cookie, who has persuaded him to relocate to her hometown. Melvin forms an unlikely friendship with Flannery, and keeps it secret from his wife, who's intimidated by the author. While explaining one of her stories to Melvin, Flannery telegraphs Napolitano's primary theme: 'it's possible that the characters are closer to grace at the end of the stories. Grace changes a person, you know. And change is painful.' Cookie slowly becomes an integral part of high society by serving on numerous committees and creating an enviable house. She enlists the interior design help of Lona Waters, a lonely seamstress stuck in a lifeless marriage with a police officer, and Lona soon rediscovers her purpose in the arms of a 17-year-old boy, an impetuous act that will have a great impact on a number of Milledgeville residents. Though Napolitano steeps her tale in the Southern gothic made famous by her famous character, she could have used O'Connor's help with her prose. (July)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

Forced by illness to leave behind a successful life as a writer in New York, Flannery O’Connor has returned to her family farm in Milledgeville, Georgia. She desires a quiet, solitary existence, but her mother, Regina, drags Flannery to the wedding of a family friend.

The embodiment of southern womanhood, Cookie Himmel is Flannery’s antithesis and has returned from her time in Manhattan to marry rich fiancé, Melvin Whiteson. Lona Waters, a dutiful housewife, is hired by Cookie to help create a perfect home, but when she is given an opportunity to remember what it feels like to be truly alive, and she seizes it with both hands.

In the course of one tragic afternoon, these characters must take a good hard look at the choices they have made and face up to O’Connor’s observation that “the truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.”

About the Author

Ann Napolitano is the author of the novel Within Arm's Reach. She is a graduate of Connecticut College and received her MFA from New York University. She lives in New York City with her family.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

OneMansView, July 23, 2011 (view all comments by OneMansView)
The remarkable Flannery O’Connor

This well-imagined, sharply-written emotionally powerful story is set in 1960’s Milledgeville, GA, the small, central-GA town where Flannery O’Connor, the thirty-something author with a small, but devoted following, lives with her mother Regina on their family farm with a large contingent of birds, primarily peacocks. While the story is fictional, it is the author’s intent to accurately capture the complete persona of Flannery. With her resilient, authentic presence, Flannery is a person who the cast of characters in this story are either drawn or react to.

The story begins with the return of Cookie Himmel to her home town with wealthy banker Melvin Whiteson in tow, after a distressing two years in NYC. Cookie, with her enhanced status, intends to trade in on her looks and popularity to become a community leader, complementing Melvin’s standing at the local bank. But cracks quickly appear in this ambitious scenario. It turns out that Cookie has been terrified of Flannery for years, fearing that Flannery can see straight through her superficiality. She is certain that she is unflatteringly portrayed in one of Flannery’s novels. When Melvin visits Andalusia, the O’Connor farm, to decline the offer of a peacock, he is so taken by the directness, perceptiveness, and cool personality of Flannery that he begins to doubt his formulaic life and is unable to stay away from her. Little could they all know the immensity of the events that await.

Self-discovery in its various guises and phases is central to the book: first, the feeling of something lacking or gone wrong; then, the difficulties, consequences, and pain of change along with the possibilities. Lona Waters, a seamstress, is married to the obsequious Bill, whose efforts at ingratiating himself with city elders to become the city police chief excludes spending time on his marriage. But the emotional starvation of Lona and her seizing of a chance to change her deadened life, involving a soft-spoken teenage boy who begins to assist in her business, have far-ranging consequences and costs. Nothing comes easily in the world depicted by the author.

The book grabs the reader virtually from the start with Flannery’s screeching peacocks sending chills up peoples’ spines on the night before Cookie’s wedding. Flannery exudes self-confidence, wit, charm, etc, which is all the more amazing considering that she knows that she has a fatal disease: lupus. Her’s is the sort of equanimity that the surrounding cast can only hope to achieve. There is drama and tragedy in spades in this story, but the author and Flannery would contend that there is hope, that life can take on new meaning. However, the journey is far more difficult than can possibly be imagined as Melvin, Cookie, Lona, and others can attest. Ultimately, it is the remarkable Flannery O’Connor who shines through from these pages.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

Product Details

ISBN:
9781594202926
Subtitle:
A Novel of Flannery O'Connor
Author:
Napolitano, Ann
Publisher:
Penguin Books
Subject:
General-General
Edition Description:
Paperback / softback
Publication Date:
20120626
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Pages:
352
Dimensions:
9.25 x 6.13 in 1 lb
Age Level:
from 18

Other books you might like

  1. The Museum of Innocence
    Used Trade Paper $6.50

Related Subjects

Arts and Entertainment » Humor » General
Business » General
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Biographical
History and Social Science » Economics » General

A Good Hard Look Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.50 In Stock
Product details 352 pages Penguin Press - English 9781594202926 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Napolitano's second novel (after Within Arm's Reach) is a study in the rural milieu of Milledgeville, Ga., whose famous resident is known not only for her writing, but also for keeping peacocks and for other colorful proclivities. Wealthy New Yorker Melvin Whiteson meets Flannery O'Connor at his wedding to the beautiful but insecure Cookie, who has persuaded him to relocate to her hometown. Melvin forms an unlikely friendship with Flannery, and keeps it secret from his wife, who's intimidated by the author. While explaining one of her stories to Melvin, Flannery telegraphs Napolitano's primary theme: 'it's possible that the characters are closer to grace at the end of the stories. Grace changes a person, you know. And change is painful.' Cookie slowly becomes an integral part of high society by serving on numerous committees and creating an enviable house. She enlists the interior design help of Lona Waters, a lonely seamstress stuck in a lifeless marriage with a police officer, and Lona soon rediscovers her purpose in the arms of a 17-year-old boy, an impetuous act that will have a great impact on a number of Milledgeville residents. Though Napolitano steeps her tale in the Southern gothic made famous by her famous character, she could have used O'Connor's help with her prose. (July)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by ,

Forced by illness to leave behind a successful life as a writer in New York, Flannery O’Connor has returned to her family farm in Milledgeville, Georgia. She desires a quiet, solitary existence, but her mother, Regina, drags Flannery to the wedding of a family friend.

The embodiment of southern womanhood, Cookie Himmel is Flannery’s antithesis and has returned from her time in Manhattan to marry rich fiancé, Melvin Whiteson. Lona Waters, a dutiful housewife, is hired by Cookie to help create a perfect home, but when she is given an opportunity to remember what it feels like to be truly alive, and she seizes it with both hands.

In the course of one tragic afternoon, these characters must take a good hard look at the choices they have made and face up to O’Connor’s observation that “the truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.”

spacer
spacer
  • back to top
Follow us on...




Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.