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1 Hawthorne Literature- A to Z

Love and Shame and Love

by

Love and Shame and Love Cover

ISBN13: 9780316129398
ISBN10: 0316129399
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Alexander Popper can't stop remembering. Four years old when his father tossed him into Lake Michigan, he was told, Sink or swim, kid. In his mind, he's still bobbing in that frigid water. The rest of this novel's vivid cast of characters also struggle to remain afloat: Popper's mother, stymied by an unhappy marriage, seeks solace in the relentless energy of Chicago; his brother, Leo, shadow boss of the family, retreats into books; paternal grandparents, Seymour and Bernice, once high fliers, now mourn for long lost days; his father, a lawyer and would-be politician obsessed with his own success, fails to see that the family is falling apart; and his college girlfriend, the fiercely independent Kat, wrestles with impossible choices.

Covering four generations of the Popper family, Peter Orner illuminates the countless ways that love both makes us whole and completely unravels us. A comic and sorrowful tapestry of memory of connection and disconnection, Love and Shame and Love explores the universals with stunning originality and wisdom.

Review:

"Vibrant and captivating, this novel about three generations of the Popper family of Chicago resonates with truths about human nature. Orner has a unique ability to create dramatic momentum from a series of punchy vignettes. We meet the central character, Alexander Popper in 1984, when he is 13, and the novel chronicles events in his life even as it looks backward at the marriages and domestic contretemps of his grandparents and parents. Seen against the casual corruption of Chicago politics and historical events in the country at large, the narrative is an acutely observed sociological picture of Jewish middle-class families from the 1930s through the 1970s. Popper's paternal grandparents endure an unhappy marriage but maintain social pretenses. His parents' marriage founders when his father, too old to be drafted at 39, enlists in WWII 'to get out of the house' (his wartime letters are interspersed). Popper himself finds the woman he loves at the University of Michigan, but their union undergoes a typically contemporary twist. Orner's (Esther Stories) surefooted control of his narrative gradually discloses information that conveys emotional and physical atmosphere. As the Poppers move into better neighborhoods, subheads with the family's changing addresses identify time and place and cultural milieu. Two themes — sometimes comic, often rueful — intersect throughout: the secret shames, frustrations, and humiliations that each character endures, and the search for love that blossoms and then fails in each generation. A richly layered, intimate picture of a distinctive but also typical family enduring life's vicissitudes and stoically carrying on. Line drawings by Eric Orner, the author's brother." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

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About the Author

Peter Orner was born in Chicago and is the author of two widely praised books, Esther Stories and The Second Coming of Mavala Shikongo. Orner is also the editor of two books of nonfiction, Underground America and Hope Deferred: Narratives of Zimbabwean Lives. His work has appeared in the Atlantic Monthly and The Best American Short Stories, and has been awarded two Pushcart Prizes. A 2006 Guggenheim Fellow, Orner has taught at the University of Montana and the Writers' Workshop at the University of Iowa and is a faculty member at San Francisco State University. He lives in San Francisco.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 2 comments:

Toshio, January 19, 2012 (view all comments by Toshio)
A great book that tells the story of three generations of the Popper family through short 1-2 page vignettes. Orner is great at capturing memorable characters with just a few words of dialogue, or the seemingly small yet all important details he provides.

Take, for example, Tonnio, the indignant owner of a pizza joint where Popper works. He is humourously characterized first as a sort of over the top, stereotypical Itialian, full of bravado, big words and a sort of Godfather-esque sense of patronage for his employees. I would put in a quotation here, because it's terrifically funny, but Powells doesn't want us to use copyrighted material.

Where many writers would stop there and let Tonnio (who is a very minor character) serve simply as comedy relief, Orner pushes further. He tells us that Tonnio is always studying for his citizenship exam and that sometimes, Popper helps him study and again, they have a very humorous exchange about Garibaldi, the Federalist Papers and the Supreme Court, but then, at just the right moment we get this amazing moment where Tonnio stops. Popper is sweeping and Tonnio realizes with shock that Popper doesn't know how to sweep properly. He shows him how telling him it's like rowing a boat and it's simply a wonderfully captured scene.

Pick it up, gie it a read. Love and Shame and Love will not disappoint.
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Samantha Abrams, January 2, 2012 (view all comments by Samantha Abrams)
Peter Orner is smart, and he knows it.

This is a beautifully written, sneaky and subtle, sharp and heartbreaking book. It is another Chicago Novel - following hundreds of Chicago Novels - that makes Chicago (and, to an extent, love) seem unknown and fresh and (if we're being fair) just a little bit terrible, which is why the book works so well. A pitch-perfect rumination on love and heartbreak and all the feelings in between.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780316129398
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Orner, Peter
Publisher:
Little, Brown and Company
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Families; Love; Loss; Perseverance
Publication Date:
20111107
Binding:
Hardback
Language:
English
Pages:
448
Dimensions:
8.75 x 6 x 1.5 in 1.23 lb

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Related Subjects

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

Love and Shame and Love Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$6.95 In Stock
Product details 448 pages Little Brown and Company - English 9780316129398 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Vibrant and captivating, this novel about three generations of the Popper family of Chicago resonates with truths about human nature. Orner has a unique ability to create dramatic momentum from a series of punchy vignettes. We meet the central character, Alexander Popper in 1984, when he is 13, and the novel chronicles events in his life even as it looks backward at the marriages and domestic contretemps of his grandparents and parents. Seen against the casual corruption of Chicago politics and historical events in the country at large, the narrative is an acutely observed sociological picture of Jewish middle-class families from the 1930s through the 1970s. Popper's paternal grandparents endure an unhappy marriage but maintain social pretenses. His parents' marriage founders when his father, too old to be drafted at 39, enlists in WWII 'to get out of the house' (his wartime letters are interspersed). Popper himself finds the woman he loves at the University of Michigan, but their union undergoes a typically contemporary twist. Orner's (Esther Stories) surefooted control of his narrative gradually discloses information that conveys emotional and physical atmosphere. As the Poppers move into better neighborhoods, subheads with the family's changing addresses identify time and place and cultural milieu. Two themes — sometimes comic, often rueful — intersect throughout: the secret shames, frustrations, and humiliations that each character endures, and the search for love that blossoms and then fails in each generation. A richly layered, intimate picture of a distinctive but also typical family enduring life's vicissitudes and stoically carrying on. Line drawings by Eric Orner, the author's brother." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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