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Autobiography of Us

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Autobiography of Us Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A gripping debut novel about friendship, loss and love; a confession of what passed between two women who met as girls in 1960s Pasadena, California

Coming of age in the patrician neighborhood of Pasadena, California during the 1960s, Rebecca Madden and her beautiful, reckless friend Alex dream of lives beyond their mothers' narrow expectations. Their struggle to define themselves against the backdrop of an American cultural revolution unites them early on, until one sweltering evening the summer before their last year of college, when a single act of betrayal changes everything.  Decades later, Rebeccas haunting meditation on the past reveals the truth about that night, the years that followed, and the friendship that shaped her.

 

Autobiography of Us by Aria Beth Sloss is an achingly beautiful portrait of a decades-long bond. A rare and powerful glimpse into the lives of two women caught between repression and revolution, it casts new light on the sacrifices, struggles, victories and defeats of a generation.

Review:

"A smooth first-person narrative about two best friends who come of age in 1960s Pasadena marks Sloss's layered debut novel. Alex is beautiful, theatrical, and comes from wealth. Introspective, secretive, and brainy narrator Rebecca lives 'house-poor' with her earnest father and beautiful, thrifty mother, who wants her daughter to have what she lost during the Depression. Once inseparable, the friends strike out on different paths at their college and a total break occurs after junior year. The incident, involving lies, alcohol, and some bad judgment, changes Rebecca's relationship with her parents as well. Stifled by early '60s sexism, she grows passive, marrying Paul, a genial, patrician New York lawyer. Despite achieving her mother's goals, her marriage is a sham and her small life revolves around her two sons and the letters she writes to Alex but never sends. Home for her mother's funeral, Rebecca reconnects with her one-time best friend, but she begins to see the insignificance of her life. Here the narrative accelerates as it builds toward the chaotic dénouement. The story's hopeful end is tempered with the realization that, had the central characters been born a generation later, maybe their lives would have been better. Agent: Claudia Ballard, WME Entertainment. (Feb.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

TWO LIVES. ONE STORY.

Coming of age in the patrician neighborhood of Pasadena, California, during the 1960s, Rebecca Madden and her beautiful, reckless friend Alex dream of lives beyond white gloves and cocktail parties, beyond their mothers narrow expectations. As change sweeps the nation—civil rights, Vietnam, women's liberation—the two girls' determination to chart a different course brings them closer, until one sweltering evening the summer before their last year of college, when a single act of betrayal changes everything. Decades later, Rebeccas haunting meditation on the past reveals the truth about that night, the years that followed, and the friendship that shaped her. A confession of hopes long forgotten, Aria Beth Sloss' Autobiography of Us is an achingly beautiful portrait of a decades-long bond and the victories, sacrifices, and defeats of a generation.

About the Author

Aria Beth Sloss is a graduate of Yale University and the Iowa Writers' Workshop.  She is a recipient of fellowships from the Iowa Arts Foundation, the Yaddo Corporation, and the Vermont Studio Center, and her writing has appeared in Glimmer Train, the Harvard Review, and online at The Paris Review and FiveChapters. She lives in New York City.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780805094558
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Sloss, Aria Beth
Publisher:
Henry Holt and Co.
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Historical
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20130205
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Language:
English
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Debut Fiction

Autobiography of Us Used Hardcover
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Product details 304 pages Henry Holt & Company - English 9780805094558 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "A smooth first-person narrative about two best friends who come of age in 1960s Pasadena marks Sloss's layered debut novel. Alex is beautiful, theatrical, and comes from wealth. Introspective, secretive, and brainy narrator Rebecca lives 'house-poor' with her earnest father and beautiful, thrifty mother, who wants her daughter to have what she lost during the Depression. Once inseparable, the friends strike out on different paths at their college and a total break occurs after junior year. The incident, involving lies, alcohol, and some bad judgment, changes Rebecca's relationship with her parents as well. Stifled by early '60s sexism, she grows passive, marrying Paul, a genial, patrician New York lawyer. Despite achieving her mother's goals, her marriage is a sham and her small life revolves around her two sons and the letters she writes to Alex but never sends. Home for her mother's funeral, Rebecca reconnects with her one-time best friend, but she begins to see the insignificance of her life. Here the narrative accelerates as it builds toward the chaotic dénouement. The story's hopeful end is tempered with the realization that, had the central characters been born a generation later, maybe their lives would have been better. Agent: Claudia Ballard, WME Entertainment. (Feb.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by , TWO LIVES. ONE STORY.

Coming of age in the patrician neighborhood of Pasadena, California, during the 1960s, Rebecca Madden and her beautiful, reckless friend Alex dream of lives beyond white gloves and cocktail parties, beyond their mothers narrow expectations. As change sweeps the nation—civil rights, Vietnam, women's liberation—the two girls' determination to chart a different course brings them closer, until one sweltering evening the summer before their last year of college, when a single act of betrayal changes everything. Decades later, Rebeccas haunting meditation on the past reveals the truth about that night, the years that followed, and the friendship that shaped her. A confession of hopes long forgotten, Aria Beth Sloss' Autobiography of Us is an achingly beautiful portrait of a decades-long bond and the victories, sacrifices, and defeats of a generation.

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