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The Wifeby Meg Wolitzer
Monday, April 21, 2014 07:30 PM
Powell's Books on Hawthorne, Portland, OR
The summer that Nixon resigns, six teenagers at a summer camp for the arts become inseparable. Decades later the bond remains powerful, but so much else has changed. In The Interestings (Riverhead), Meg Wolitzer follows these characters from the height of youth through middle age, as their talents, fortunes, and degrees of satisfaction diverge. Wide in scope and ambitious, The Interestings explores the meaning of talent; the nature of envy; the roles of class, art, money, and power; and how all of it can shift and tilt precipitously over the course of a friendship and a life.
Synopses & Reviews
Meg Wolitzer brings her characteristic wit and intelligence to a provocative story about the evolution of a marriage, the nature of partnership, the question of a male or female sensibility, and the place for an ambitious woman in a man’s world.
The moment Joan Castleman decides to leave her husband, they are thirty-five thousand feet above the ocean on a flight to Helsinki. Joan’s husband, Joseph, is one of America’s preeminent novelists, about to receive a prestigious international award, and Joan, who has spent forty years subjugating her own literary talents to fan the flames of his career, has finally decided to stop. From this gripping opening, Meg Wolitzer flashes back to 1950s Smith College and Greenwich Village and follows the course of the marriage that has brought the couple to this breaking point—one that results in a shocking revelation.
With her skillful storytelling and pitch-perfect observations, Wolitzer has crafted a wise and candid look at the choices all men and women make—in marriage, work, and life.
"This important book introduces another side of a writer we thought we knew: Never before has she written so feverishly, so courageously. It almost becomes possible to imagine a female Philip Roth..." Kera Bolonik, The Washington Post Book World
"[Wolitzer's] hilarious gripes about marriage make this tale a pleasure best indulged in away from your better half." People Magazine
"Wolitzer's crisp pacing and dry wit carry us headlong into a devastating message about the price of love and fame. If it's a story we've heard before, the tale is as resonant as ever in Wolitzer's hands." Publishers Weekly
"[A]n eviscerating and acerbically funny novel....Wolitzer keeps us guessing right up until the gut-wrenching twist of a finale." Entertainment Weekly
"Meg Wolitzer has fashioned a light-stepping, streamlined novel from...dolorous, bitter-sounding themes....[A] near-heartbreaking document of feminist realpolitik." Claire Dederer, The New York Times Book Review
"popular and shrewd novelist Wolitzer choreographs [Joan's] ire into kung-fu precision moves to zap our every notion about gender and status, creativity and fame, individuality and marriage, deftly exposing the injustice, sorrow, and sheer absurdity of it all." Donna Seaman, Booklist
"Forty-five years of a bad marriage laid out in pat detail....Connect-the-dots predictable except for those occasional tasty morsels of nastiness." Kirkus Reviews
"[The Wife] features amazingly crafted prose....Complete with a staggering twist ending, this is not one to miss." Library Journal
"Wolitzer never really develops her characters and savvy readers will guess her surprise ending quite early on, but she has great fun satirizing an all too recognizable stratum of literary life." The New Yorker
"Wolitzer's world is John Updike's world, but her writing is at once grittier and bigger....I hope that The Wife might appeal to both men and women. It is as much about the male psyche as it is about the woman's." Susan Salter Reynolds, The Los Angeles
Tackling everything from the challenges of marriage to the nature of gender, this bold work by Wolitzer seizes the reader and never lets go.
THE WIFE is the story of the long and stormy marriage between a world-famous novelist, Joe Castleman, and his wife Joan and the secret they've kept for decades. The novel opens just as Joe is about to receive a prestigious international award, The Helsinki Prize, to honour his career as one of America's preeminent novelists of the Mailer-Bellow-Updike school. But this isn't a book for writers; it's a book for readers, for people who are interested in questions such as: Is there a 'male' voice and a 'female' voice? Do men and women see the world differently, and how? THE WIFE takes on these issues, which are relevant not only in a writer's marriage, but in any marriage, where issues of gender and power are sure to arise.
About the Author
Meg Wolitzer's highly praised books include Sleepwalking, This Is Your Life, and Surrender, Dorothy. A recipient of a Pushcart Prize, whose short fiction has also appeared in The Best American Short Stories, she is a frequent contributor to the public radio show The Next Big Thing. She lives in New York City with her husband and two sons.
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