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A Window Across the Riverby Brian Morton
Synopses & Reviews
Isaac and Nora haven't seen each other in five years, yet when Nora phones Isaac late one night, he knows who it is before she's spoken a word. Isaac, a photographer, is relinquishing his artistic career, while Nora, a writer, is seeking to rededicate herself to hers.
Fueled by their rediscovered love, Nora is soon on fire with the best work she's ever done, until she realizes that the story she's writing has turned into a fictionalized portrait of Isaac, exposing his frailties and compromises and sure to be viewed by him as a betrayal. How do we remain faithful to our calling if it estranges us from the people we love? How do we remain in love after we have seen the very worst of our loved ones? Brian Morton explores these issues with the same "astonishingly sensitive appreciation for his characters" (Library Journal) that marks his previous work.
"Funny, precise and beautifully written...Morton's perceptions of the conflicts within the human heart are keen. I loved this book." Alice Sebold
"Morton's warm yet analytical prose gives the familiar scenes a fresh, revelatory feel....The modesty of this novel gracefully offsets the delicacy and insight with which Morton writes about the junction of love and art." Publishers Weekly
"Nora and Isaac are wonderfully well drawn, an angular, asymmetrical pair whose love has nothing to do with happy endings." New York Times
"There are no easy answers, according to this novel, which digs deep to sift out what people are made of. Perhaps it cannot ultimately answer the question of what finally matters in life and love, but at least it does try." Library Journal
"Morton is particularly skilled at describing the sharp rattle of artistic failure, and at bringing to life the streets and rooms of New York, where the fates of his lonely and desperate characters unfold." New Yorker
This is the story of Nora and Isaac, once lovers, estranged for five years, and now back in one another's lives. Isaac, a photographer, is dealing with the reality, at 40, that he will probably never be a star artist and is settling down in his comfortable job for a suburban New Jersey newspaper, mentoring students whose future looks brighter than his own. Nora, 9 years younger, has always been his great love, and after a five year hiatus, she's back, still struggling as a writer, still taking care of her aging aunt Billie, still unsure whether or not she can commit to Isaac. The problem is, Nora can't help but write about the people in her life, and although she is kind and sensitive and thoughtful and funny, in her writing she is brutal, and seems unable not to seek out the weakness in her subjects, thereby mortally damaging her relationships. Can this love affair survive the slings and arrows of art?
"A story at once joyous, funny and bittersweet, told with delicate artistry and an aching regard for human frailty. For some readers, Brian Morton may still be an undiscovered treasure. He won't be for long." --Newsday
Isaac and Nora haven't seen each other in five years, yet when Nora phones Isaac late one night, he knows who it is before she speaks. The two rediscover their love, and Nora, a writer, is soon on fire with the best work she has ever done. Absorbed by her writing, she doesn't realize at first that her story is a fictionalized portrait of Isaac, exposing his frailties and compromises, sure to be viewed by him as a betrayal. The conflict tests the limits of their relationship and raises deeply complex questions about how we remain faithful to our calling if it estranges us from the people we love.
"An absolute pleasure... " — Seattle Times
Brian Morton is the author of The Dylanist and Starting Out in the Evening. He has received an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Koret Jewish Book Award for Fiction, a Guggenheim Foundation Award, and has been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. Morton lives in New York City.
Fueled by her rediscovered love for Isaac, a photographer, Nora realizes that the story she's working on has turned into a fictionalized portrait of him, exposing his frailties and compromises and sure to be viewed as a betrayal.
About the Author
Brian Morton is the author of The Dylanist and Starting Out in the Evening. He has received an Academy Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the Koret Jewish Book Award for Fiction, a Guggenheim Foundation Award, and has been a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award. He lives in New York City.
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"A funny, precise and beautifully written novel. I loved this book." --Alice Sebold, author of The Lovely Bones
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