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Seating Arrangements (Vintage Contemporaries)

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Seating Arrangements (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Maggie Shipstead’s irresistible social satire, set on an exclusive New England island over a wedding weekend in June, provides a deliciously biting glimpse into the lives of the well-bred and ill-behaved.

Winn Van Meter is heading for his family’s retreat on the pristine New England island of Waskeke. Normally a haven of calm, for the next three days this sanctuary will be overrun by tipsy revelers as Winn prepares for the marriage of his daughter Daphne to the affable young scion Greyson Duff.  Winn’s wife, Biddy, has planned the wedding with military precision, but arrangements are sideswept by a storm of salacious misbehavior and intractable lust: Daphne’s sister, Livia, who has recently had her heart broken by Teddy Fenn, the son of her father’s oldest rival, is an eager target for the seductive wiles of Greyson’s best man; Winn, instead of reveling in his patriarchal duties, is tormented by his long-standing crush on Daphne’s beguiling bridesmaid Agatha; and the bride and groom find themselves presiding over a spectacle of misplaced desire, marital infidelity, and monumental loss of faith in the rituals of American life.

Hilarious, keenly intelligent, and commandingly well written, Shipstead’s deceptively frothy first novel is a piercing rumination on desire, on love and its obligations, and on the dangers of leading an inauthentic life, heralding the debut of an exciting new literary voice. 

From the Hardcover edition.

Review:

“Smart and frothy….Beneath the surface of this summery romp lie animosities, well-paced sexual suspense and a clash between appearances and authenticity…waltzlike.” New York Times Book Review

Review:

"A sophisticated summer romp...Shipstead's weave of wit and observation continually delights. I wouldn’t be surprised if someday she trades her Lilly Pulitzer for something from Joseph Pulitzer." Washington Post

Review:

"Whipsmart and engaging...the best kind of smart beach read." O Magazine

Review:

“Dead-on delightful…a champagne-fueled, saltwater-scented comedy of upper-crust New England manners and mores.” National Geographic Traveler

Review:

"Irresistible [and] joyously good." Daily Mail (UK)

Review:

“Elegant, delightful…Shipstead’s sentences simmer and crackle on the page.” San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

“This is one of those rare debut novels that neither forsakes plot for language nor language for plot. It is gratifying on every scale….The novel is teeming with the sort of casual philosophizing that encourages passage-underlining and earnest recommendation.” The Boston Globe

Review:

“Zestful yet acerbic…for all its madcap quirkiness, Shipstead’s adroit escapade artfully delivers a poignant reflection on the enduring if frustrating nature of love, hope, and family.” Booklist

Review:

“Vibrant prose and moments of keen insight.” Publishers Weekly

Review:

“Delightful…Shipstead writes with clarity and confidence, nimbly dropping into multiple characters’ heads, giving each a distinct voice and point of view but always with great wit and heart. Seating Arrangements brims with sharp observations about love, lust, family, and the real meaning of marital bliss.” Entertainment Weekly

Review:

“Impressive….Shipstead’s characters…feel totally true to life.” People, Style Watch

Review:

“Shipstead seems at home in the Waspy milieu of private schools and their preening, privileged attendees…a keen-eyed rendering of America’s self-invented caste, its members’ revelry in an illusory ‘axis of perfect exclusivity’ and their pitiful strivings ‘to be aristocrats’ in a country that was built on anti-aristocratic conventions.” The New Yorker

Review:

Seating Arrangements delightfully and poignantly upends the WASP idyll, poking holes into the studiously shabby carpets to reveal the limitations of a privileged world that revolves around the same plummy prep-school pedigrees, club memberships and summer havens…through prose that sparkles while it slays.” USA Today

Review:

“Told from the wry perspective of the father of the (very pregnant) bride, this spicy debut tracks the goings-on at a Cape Cod wedding where endless drama unfolds.” Real Simple

Synopsis:

A San Francisco Chronicle and Daily Candy Best Book of the Year

Winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize

The Van Meters have gathered at their family retreat on the island of Waskeke to celebrate the marriage of daughter Daphne to the impeccably appropriate Greyson Duff. The weekend is full of champagne, salt air and practiced bonhomie, but long-buried discontent and simmering lust stir beneath the surface.

Winn Van Meter, father of the bride, is not having a good time. Barred from the exclusive social club he’s been eyeing since birth, he’s also tormented by an inappropriate crush on Daphne’s beguiling bridesmaid, Agatha, and the fear that his daughter, Livia — recently heartbroken by the son of his greatest rival — is a too-ready target for the wiles of Greyson’s best man. When old resentments, a beached whale and an escaped lobster are added to the mix, the wedding that should have gone off with military precision threatens to become a spectacle of misbehavior.

About the Author

Maggie Shipstead was born in 1983 and grew up in Orange County, California. Her short fiction has appeared in Tin House, VQR, Glimmer Train, The Best American Short Stories, and other publications. She is a graduate of the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and a recipient of the Stegner Fellowship from Stanford University.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780307743954
Author:
Shipstead, Maggie
Publisher:
Vintage
Subject:
Literature-Contemporary Women
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Series:
Vintage Contemporaries
Publication Date:
20130507
Binding:
Paperback
Language:
English
Pages:
320
Dimensions:
7.93 x 5.17 x 0.75 in 0.54 lb

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Related Subjects

Featured Titles » General
Featured Titles » Literature
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Contemporary Women
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Debut Fiction
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Family Life
Fiction and Poetry » Satire

Seating Arrangements (Vintage Contemporaries) Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.50 In Stock
Product details 320 pages Vintage - English 9780307743954 Reviews:
"Review" by , “Smart and frothy….Beneath the surface of this summery romp lie animosities, well-paced sexual suspense and a clash between appearances and authenticity…waltzlike.”
"Review" by , "A sophisticated summer romp...Shipstead's weave of wit and observation continually delights. I wouldn’t be surprised if someday she trades her Lilly Pulitzer for something from Joseph Pulitzer."
"Review" by , "Whipsmart and engaging...the best kind of smart beach read."
"Review" by , “Dead-on delightful…a champagne-fueled, saltwater-scented comedy of upper-crust New England manners and mores.”
"Review" by , "Irresistible [and] joyously good."
"Review" by , “Elegant, delightful…Shipstead’s sentences simmer and crackle on the page.”
"Review" by , “This is one of those rare debut novels that neither forsakes plot for language nor language for plot. It is gratifying on every scale….The novel is teeming with the sort of casual philosophizing that encourages passage-underlining and earnest recommendation.”
"Review" by , “Zestful yet acerbic…for all its madcap quirkiness, Shipstead’s adroit escapade artfully delivers a poignant reflection on the enduring if frustrating nature of love, hope, and family.”
"Review" by , “Vibrant prose and moments of keen insight.”
"Review" by , “Delightful…Shipstead writes with clarity and confidence, nimbly dropping into multiple characters’ heads, giving each a distinct voice and point of view but always with great wit and heart. Seating Arrangements brims with sharp observations about love, lust, family, and the real meaning of marital bliss.”
"Review" by , “Impressive….Shipstead’s characters…feel totally true to life.”
"Review" by , “Shipstead seems at home in the Waspy milieu of private schools and their preening, privileged attendees…a keen-eyed rendering of America’s self-invented caste, its members’ revelry in an illusory ‘axis of perfect exclusivity’ and their pitiful strivings ‘to be aristocrats’ in a country that was built on anti-aristocratic conventions.”
"Review" by , Seating Arrangements delightfully and poignantly upends the WASP idyll, poking holes into the studiously shabby carpets to reveal the limitations of a privileged world that revolves around the same plummy prep-school pedigrees, club memberships and summer havens…through prose that sparkles while it slays.”
"Review" by , “Told from the wry perspective of the father of the (very pregnant) bride, this spicy debut tracks the goings-on at a Cape Cod wedding where endless drama unfolds.”
"Synopsis" by , A San Francisco Chronicle and Daily Candy Best Book of the Year

Winner of the Dylan Thomas Prize

The Van Meters have gathered at their family retreat on the island of Waskeke to celebrate the marriage of daughter Daphne to the impeccably appropriate Greyson Duff. The weekend is full of champagne, salt air and practiced bonhomie, but long-buried discontent and simmering lust stir beneath the surface.

Winn Van Meter, father of the bride, is not having a good time. Barred from the exclusive social club he’s been eyeing since birth, he’s also tormented by an inappropriate crush on Daphne’s beguiling bridesmaid, Agatha, and the fear that his daughter, Livia — recently heartbroken by the son of his greatest rival — is a too-ready target for the wiles of Greyson’s best man. When old resentments, a beached whale and an escaped lobster are added to the mix, the wedding that should have gone off with military precision threatens to become a spectacle of misbehavior.

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