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This title in other editions

Le Divorce (William Abrahams Book)

by

Le Divorce (William Abrahams Book) Cover

ISBN13: 9780452277335
ISBN10: 0452277337
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Diane Johnson, two-time finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award, a noted observer of our times, has written a sparkling contemporary novel on Americans abroad that is hilariously insightful.

When California girl Isabel Walker, film school dropout, comes to visit her stepsister Roxy in Paris, she arrives on the day that Roxy's French husband, Charles-Henri de Persand, has left her for another woman. Roxy is distraught and pregnant. Charles-Henri's powerful and prestigious French family is counseling patience and acceptance, Isabel is soon caught up in the romantic intrigue: and Roxy's parents are just as soon on their way to France to lend their daughter support. Add to all of this a contretemps over a painting belonging to the Walkers but given by Roxy as a wedding gift to her husband, which turns out to be extremely valuable. It is, as the French say, a situation.

It is also the basis for a comedy of manners that looks with delicious wit at cultures and carnal desires in collision; at the absurd way in which love can lead us toward grand tragedy or, at least, toward jealous crimes of the heart. Le Divorceis a literary French treat, served with exquisite prose, superb plotting and much fun.

Review:

"A shrewd, carefully detailed portrait of the ways in which Americans and the French continue to romanticize, denigrate, and misapprehend each other, contained in a well-paced, believably dramatic narrative." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"What makes Diane Johnson such a rewarding novelist (and travel writer) is her vivid, can-the-bullshit tone. Her new novel, Le Divorce, is thick with frank observation — about sex, manners, food, money — of the kind that illuminates all of her work, and it lifts the novel high above those of most other mid-career American writers. A critic at heart, Johnson scorns flowery prose and aching 'sensitivity,' preferring to get her hands dirty poking around in the human condition. She's a treat to read." Dwight Garner, Salon

Review:

"Johnson's control of her material is impeccable. The world of American expatriates is fertile territory for her ironic wit, which is both subtle and sharp. Everything here delights the reader..." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"[A]n excellently observed social and moral comedy...a genuinely wise and humane novel, by a very good writer." Malcolm Bradbury, The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"It's hard to sympathize with any of the heartless characters profiled in this complex morality tale, in which everyone is, to some degree, corrupt. Nonetheless, Johnson seems to be having a great deal of nasty fun satirizing both American and French cultures, especially in the acerbic denouement, in which members of both families are taken hostage at EuroDisney. Cold and clever." Joanne Wilkinson, Booklist

Synopsis:

Set in Paris, Le Divorce is an alluring and elegant comedy of love and divorce French-style. Isabel Walker, a young, not-so-innocent, American abroad, arrives in Paris to find that her sister's French husband ('the frog prince') has just walked out. While Isabel embarks on her own sentimental education - seduced by gourmet food, antiques, existentialism and an older man - her sister's marriage disintegrates into bitter Franco-American wrangles over money, titles and a mysterious painting. With a sharp tongue and an ironic eye for the foibles of the Parisian bourgeoisie, the French art world and American ex-patriots, Isabel is a collector of experience, even those she can't control. Comedy veers suddenly close to tragedy as passionate jealousy, self-interest and artistic intrigue interweave.

Synopsis:

In Le Divorce, Diane Johnson delightfully recounts the adventures of two sisters from California who make a modern pilgrimage to the City of Light.

Pregnant and abandoned by her French husband, Roxeanne Walker de Persand turns to her younger sister, Isabel, for support, while the powerful Persand family exerts subtle but firm control over her decision whether or not to divorce. Complicating matters is the disposition of a family heirloom, a painting in Roxy's possession that is suddenly discovered to be worth millions. In the midst of a variety of schemes, the stakes are suddenly raised by a crime of passion, disrupting everyone's motives and plans.

Not since Edith Wharton penned her brilliant portraits of Americans abroad has an American novelist so perfectly captured the possibilities and perils of succumbing to the allure of Paris.

Synopsis:

Soon to be a major motion picture from Merchant Ivory productions starring Naomi Watts and Kate Hudson!

Called "stylish...refreshing...genuinely wise" by The New York Times Book Review, Diane Johnson’s Le Divorce has delighted readers since its publication in 1997.

This delightful comedy of manners and morals, money, marriage, and murder follows smart, sexy, and impeccably dressed American Isabel Walker as she lands in Paris to visit her stepsister Roxy, a poet whose marriage to an aristocratic French painter has assured her a coveted place in Parisian society...until her husband leaves her for the wife of an American lawyer.  Could "le divorce" be far behind?  Can irrepressible Isabel keep her perspective (and her love life) intact as cultures and human passions collide?  "Social comedy at its best" (Los Angeles Times Book Review), Le Divorce is Diane Johnson at her most scintillating and sublime.

About the Author

Diane Johnson is an American-born novelist and essayist. A two-time finalist for both the Pulitzer Prize and the National Book Award in three different genres--essay, biography,and fiction--she is

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

maureen bridget, January 2, 2012 (view all comments by maureen bridget)
not only an enjoyable story to read, but very true! As an American living in France, this story touched an emotional chord as I know many women who have been through this horrific experience without the happy ending. I'd like to suggest that Diane write a sequel based on my real life story - le déces ( unexpected death). In France, the Napoleonic Code stills gives a majority inheritance to the children, even from first marriages which were never meant to be. My American lawyers were shocked to learn that my husband who passed way suddenly Dec 21, 2010 thought he had provided for me but retroactive laws passed in 2009 (unknown to us) changed everything. What we had worked for and built together during our 31 years of a loving marriage will now go for a major portion to a son who lives beyond his means and with an attitude of entitlement and selfish unimaginable by any standards - be it American or French.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No

Product Details

ISBN:
9780452277335
Author:
Johnson, Diane
Publisher:
Plume Books
Location:
New York, N.Y., U.S.A. :
Subject:
General
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
Paris
Subject:
Americans
Subject:
Love stories
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Travel
Subject:
Paris (France) Social life and customs.
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Romance - Contemporary
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
William Abrahams Book
Series Volume:
R-368
Publication Date:
19980131
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
from 12
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
8.01x5.37x.91 in. .58 lbs.
Age Level:
from 18

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Related Subjects


Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Romance » General
History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture

Le Divorce (William Abrahams Book) Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$3.95 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Plume Books - English 9780452277335 Reviews:
"Review" by , "A shrewd, carefully detailed portrait of the ways in which Americans and the French continue to romanticize, denigrate, and misapprehend each other, contained in a well-paced, believably dramatic narrative."
"Review" by , "What makes Diane Johnson such a rewarding novelist (and travel writer) is her vivid, can-the-bullshit tone. Her new novel, Le Divorce, is thick with frank observation — about sex, manners, food, money — of the kind that illuminates all of her work, and it lifts the novel high above those of most other mid-career American writers. A critic at heart, Johnson scorns flowery prose and aching 'sensitivity,' preferring to get her hands dirty poking around in the human condition. She's a treat to read."
"Review" by , "Johnson's control of her material is impeccable. The world of American expatriates is fertile territory for her ironic wit, which is both subtle and sharp. Everything here delights the reader..."
"Review" by , "[A]n excellently observed social and moral comedy...a genuinely wise and humane novel, by a very good writer."
"Review" by , "It's hard to sympathize with any of the heartless characters profiled in this complex morality tale, in which everyone is, to some degree, corrupt. Nonetheless, Johnson seems to be having a great deal of nasty fun satirizing both American and French cultures, especially in the acerbic denouement, in which members of both families are taken hostage at EuroDisney. Cold and clever."
"Synopsis" by , Set in Paris, Le Divorce is an alluring and elegant comedy of love and divorce French-style. Isabel Walker, a young, not-so-innocent, American abroad, arrives in Paris to find that her sister's French husband ('the frog prince') has just walked out. While Isabel embarks on her own sentimental education - seduced by gourmet food, antiques, existentialism and an older man - her sister's marriage disintegrates into bitter Franco-American wrangles over money, titles and a mysterious painting. With a sharp tongue and an ironic eye for the foibles of the Parisian bourgeoisie, the French art world and American ex-patriots, Isabel is a collector of experience, even those she can't control. Comedy veers suddenly close to tragedy as passionate jealousy, self-interest and artistic intrigue interweave.
"Synopsis" by ,
In Le Divorce, Diane Johnson delightfully recounts the adventures of two sisters from California who make a modern pilgrimage to the City of Light.

Pregnant and abandoned by her French husband, Roxeanne Walker de Persand turns to her younger sister, Isabel, for support, while the powerful Persand family exerts subtle but firm control over her decision whether or not to divorce. Complicating matters is the disposition of a family heirloom, a painting in Roxy's possession that is suddenly discovered to be worth millions. In the midst of a variety of schemes, the stakes are suddenly raised by a crime of passion, disrupting everyone's motives and plans.

Not since Edith Wharton penned her brilliant portraits of Americans abroad has an American novelist so perfectly captured the possibilities and perils of succumbing to the allure of Paris.

"Synopsis" by ,

Soon to be a major motion picture from Merchant Ivory productions starring Naomi Watts and Kate Hudson!

Called "stylish...refreshing...genuinely wise" by The New York Times Book Review, Diane Johnson’s Le Divorce has delighted readers since its publication in 1997.

This delightful comedy of manners and morals, money, marriage, and murder follows smart, sexy, and impeccably dressed American Isabel Walker as she lands in Paris to visit her stepsister Roxy, a poet whose marriage to an aristocratic French painter has assured her a coveted place in Parisian society...until her husband leaves her for the wife of an American lawyer.  Could "le divorce" be far behind?  Can irrepressible Isabel keep her perspective (and her love life) intact as cultures and human passions collide?  "Social comedy at its best" (Los Angeles Times Book Review), Le Divorce is Diane Johnson at her most scintillating and sublime.

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