Poetry Madness
 
 

Recently Viewed clear list


Interviews | April 8, 2014

Shawn Donley: IMG Gabrielle Zevin: The Powells.com Interview



Gabrielle ZevinThe American Booksellers Association collects nominations from bookstores all over the country for favorite forthcoming titles. The Storied Life of... Continue »
  1. $17.47 Sale Hardcover add to wish list

    The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry

    Gabrielle Zevin 9781616203214

spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$9.95
Used Hardcover
Usually ships in 5 to 7 business days
Add to Wishlist
available for shipping or prepaid pickup only
Qty Store Section
1 Remote Warehouse Literature- A to Z

Duchess of Nothing

by

Duchess of Nothing Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The author of the critically acclaimed Schooling returns with a darkly comic novel about a mentally unpredictable woman intent on giving a young boy a proper education.

After leaving her husband and their suffocating marriage for a new lover in Rome, the narrator of Heather McGowan's Duchess of Nothing has her freedom, but is still trapped by the routine of life and haunted by her past. Even worse, her lover, Edmund, is just as self-absorbed and remote as her former husband. Her one source of entertainment is Edmund's seven-year-old brother, a curious, precocious, and defiant child who becomes her responsibility during her lover's long absences. Spending their days together, they wander the city, simultaneously repelled by and drawn to each other as she teaches him important lessons he would otherwise never learn in school, such as "marriage is a tomb" and being an expert liar is key to getting ahead in the world. But when Edmund abandons them altogether, the amusing relationship between the narrator and her charge suddenly becomes a necessity, and she realizes how much she has come to depend on the boy.

Clever, wry, and acutely aware of her own precarious grasp on the world around her, the narrator of McGowan's pitch-perfect novel speaks with a cutting honesty and a hilarious, twisted logic that keeps us riveted to the page.

Review:

Starred Review. McGowan's maverick follow-up to her debut, Schooling (2001), stars a 30-ish divorced American woman who, it is implied, has the lithe frame, iconic features and sophisticated trashiness of Holly Golightly. Too smart for her own good and lacking Holly's ambition or drive, the nameless narrator is living in Rome with young, faceless lover Edmund?and caring for Edmund's seven-year-old half-brother. Edmund is described mostly in terms of the beauty of his back, about which the narrator is careful to instruct "Edmund's brother" (aka "the boy") lest he get duped into loving an unworthy object (as she has). The boy's "education" (she forbids him to go to school) is in fact her preoccupation, allowing McGowan to give the woman's autodidactic rants (on love) free rein. When Edmund abruptly leaves the odd menage, the woman and the boy run out of money, get increasingly desperate and contemplate ways of finding Edmund that won't make them lose face. The woman's absolute devotion to tiny matters of style and comportment, and her resolute obliviousness to the ridiculously mannered, bafflingly anachronistic figure she cuts, is a lode McGowan mines with relish as she slowly chips away at the woman's love for the boy. Weeks after finishing this singular, pointedly frustrating novel, readers will find that nameless woman's mind still moving restlessly within them. (Mar. 28) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review:

"If Molly Bloom could speak again, if Molloy could write to us from Rome, we would have something as bewitching as Duchess of Nothing, where Heather McGowan once again reclaims wit, philosophy and beauty as among the birthrights of great fiction." Andrew Sean Greer, author of The Confessions of Max Tivoli

Review:

"Heather McGowan is the most elegant, arresting and lucid prose stylist I have encountered in years." Rick Moody

Review:

"A truly original premise, artfully developed into a memorable and perversely entertaining comic horror story." Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Heather McGowan is the author of the novel Schooling, which was listed as a Best Book of the Year by Newsweek, the Detroit Free Press, and the Hartford Courant. She lives in Brooklyn.

Product Details

ISBN:
9781596910669
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
McGowan, Heather
Publisher:
Bloomsbury USA
Subject:
General
Subject:
Boys
Subject:
Divorced women
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Psychological fiction
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
20060321
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
224
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.50 in

Other books you might like

  1. Possible Side Effects
    Used Trade Paper $3.50
  2. Never Let Me Go
    Used Trade Paper $6.50
  3. All the Pretty Horses
    Used Trade Paper $4.50
  4. Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close
    Used Trade Paper $2.95
  5. Drop City Used Trade Paper $0.95
  6. Saturday
    Used Trade Paper $2.50

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Duchess of Nothing Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.95 In Stock
Product details 224 pages Bloomsbury Publishing PLC - English 9781596910669 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , Starred Review. McGowan's maverick follow-up to her debut, Schooling (2001), stars a 30-ish divorced American woman who, it is implied, has the lithe frame, iconic features and sophisticated trashiness of Holly Golightly. Too smart for her own good and lacking Holly's ambition or drive, the nameless narrator is living in Rome with young, faceless lover Edmund?and caring for Edmund's seven-year-old half-brother. Edmund is described mostly in terms of the beauty of his back, about which the narrator is careful to instruct "Edmund's brother" (aka "the boy") lest he get duped into loving an unworthy object (as she has). The boy's "education" (she forbids him to go to school) is in fact her preoccupation, allowing McGowan to give the woman's autodidactic rants (on love) free rein. When Edmund abruptly leaves the odd menage, the woman and the boy run out of money, get increasingly desperate and contemplate ways of finding Edmund that won't make them lose face. The woman's absolute devotion to tiny matters of style and comportment, and her resolute obliviousness to the ridiculously mannered, bafflingly anachronistic figure she cuts, is a lode McGowan mines with relish as she slowly chips away at the woman's love for the boy. Weeks after finishing this singular, pointedly frustrating novel, readers will find that nameless woman's mind still moving restlessly within them. (Mar. 28) Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
"Review" by , "If Molly Bloom could speak again, if Molloy could write to us from Rome, we would have something as bewitching as Duchess of Nothing, where Heather McGowan once again reclaims wit, philosophy and beauty as among the birthrights of great fiction."
"Review" by , "Heather McGowan is the most elegant, arresting and lucid prose stylist I have encountered in years."
"Review" by , "A truly original premise, artfully developed into a memorable and perversely entertaining comic horror story."
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.