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Off Keck Road: A Novella (Vintage Contemporaries)

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Off Keck Road: A Novella (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In this flawless novella, Mona Simpson turns her powers of observation toward characters who, unlike Ann and Adele August in her bestselling Anywhere but Here, choose to stay rather than go.

As a high school student in Green Bay, Bea Maxwell raised money for good causes; later, she became a successful real estate agent and an accomplished knitter. The one thing missing from her life is a romantic relationship. She soon settles comfortably into the role of stylish spinster and do-gooder. Woven into Bea's story are stories of other lifelong residents of Green Bay and the changes time brings to a town and its residents. This pure and simple work once again proves Mona Simpson one of the defining writers of her generation.

Review:

"Off Keck Road should not be read in public places, against the certainty of tears....Continually moving in a wry, Chekhovian way." The Atlantic Monthly

Review:

"Showcases the gifts of emotional sympathy and psychological observation that Ms. Simpson used to such enormous effect in Anywhere But Here. In fewer than 200 pages it gives us the shape and texture of two entire lives." The New York Times

Review:

"Simpson casts her net lightly over the reader in her fourth, uncharacteristically slim work of fiction, a novella, attempting to engage with a quiet plot about emotionally passive protagonists and the risk of staying disconnected....Simpson's signature fine writing renders subtle quirks of character gently and realistically, and she again finds fresh ways of capturing the familiar." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"As Simpson weaves together [her characters'] meshed stories...she pauses often to contemplate the beauty of the land as its disappears beneath the hard edges of subdivisions and malls, an internment emblematic of how love is buried deep in the hearts of her modest but strong characters, figures profound in their rootedness and dignity." Booklist

Review:

"Nothing momentous happens here, but events crowd through Bea's life, drawing in other townsfolk, and the whole story is beautifully rendered. Too low-key for some, but many readers will find this a joy." Library Journal

Review:

"It's not easy to write a novel in which the central tragedy is that nothing happens, but the author uses the cumulative power of small details to convince us that Bea's stalled life is a life worth knowing." The New Yorker

Review:

"Simpson is a powerful writer who refuses to indulge in literary or analytic excess....At its best, Simpson's economy of words allows her to limn characters with just a few clean brush strokes." Time Out New York

About the Author

Mona Simpson is the recipient of a Whiting Writer's Award, a Guggenheim grant, and the Hodder Fellowship at Princeton University. Since 1988 she has taught at Bard College, where she now holds the Sadie Samuelson Levy Chair of Languages and Literature. She recently received a grant from the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Foundation. She lives in Santa Monica, California.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780375709067
Author:
Simpson, Mona
Publisher:
Vintage Books
Location:
New York
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Women
Subject:
Mothers and daughters
Subject:
Female friendship
Subject:
Green Bay
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Vintage Contemporaries (Paperback)
Series Volume:
no. 01-1232-1
Publication Date:
20010931
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
180
Dimensions:
8.01x5.19x.55 in. .48 lbs.

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Related Subjects

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

Off Keck Road: A Novella (Vintage Contemporaries) New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$14.50 In Stock
Product details 180 pages Vintage Books USA - English 9780375709067 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Off Keck Road should not be read in public places, against the certainty of tears....Continually moving in a wry, Chekhovian way."
"Review" by , "Showcases the gifts of emotional sympathy and psychological observation that Ms. Simpson used to such enormous effect in Anywhere But Here. In fewer than 200 pages it gives us the shape and texture of two entire lives."
"Review" by , "Simpson casts her net lightly over the reader in her fourth, uncharacteristically slim work of fiction, a novella, attempting to engage with a quiet plot about emotionally passive protagonists and the risk of staying disconnected....Simpson's signature fine writing renders subtle quirks of character gently and realistically, and she again finds fresh ways of capturing the familiar."
"Review" by , "As Simpson weaves together [her characters'] meshed stories...she pauses often to contemplate the beauty of the land as its disappears beneath the hard edges of subdivisions and malls, an internment emblematic of how love is buried deep in the hearts of her modest but strong characters, figures profound in their rootedness and dignity."
"Review" by , "Nothing momentous happens here, but events crowd through Bea's life, drawing in other townsfolk, and the whole story is beautifully rendered. Too low-key for some, but many readers will find this a joy."
"Review" by , "It's not easy to write a novel in which the central tragedy is that nothing happens, but the author uses the cumulative power of small details to convince us that Bea's stalled life is a life worth knowing."
"Review" by , "Simpson is a powerful writer who refuses to indulge in literary or analytic excess....At its best, Simpson's economy of words allows her to limn characters with just a few clean brush strokes."
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