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Triangle: A Novel

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Triangle: A Novel Cover

ISBN13: 9780374281427
ISBN10: 0374281424
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

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Review-A-Day

"Weber excels at a kind of fully realized, three-dimensional fiction. Her characters live, breathe, and inhabit very convincing spaces....Triangle is neatly plotted and embedded with sufficient clues to allow a diligent reader to unravel most of Esther's mystery far too easily. But when the denouement does arrive, there's just not quite enough 'there' there." Marjorie Kehe, The Christian Science Monitor (read the entire CSM review)

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Esther Gottesfeld is the last living survivor of the notorious 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist fire and has told her story countless times in the span of her lifetime. Even so, her death at the age of 106 leaves unanswered many questions about what happened that fateful day. How did she manage to survive the fire when at least 146 workers, most of them women, her sister and fiancé among them, burned or jumped to their deaths from the sweatshop inferno? Are the discrepancies in her various accounts over the years just ordinary human fallacy, or is there a hidden story in Esther's recollections of that terrible day?

Esther's granddaughter Rebecca Gottesfeld, with her partner George Botkin, an ingenious composer, seek to unravel the facts of the matter while Ruth Zion, a zealous feminist historian of the fire, bores in on them with her own mole-like agenda. A brilliant, haunting novel about one of the most terrible tragedies in early-twentieth-century America, Triangle forces us to consider how we tell our stories, how we hear them, and how history is forged from unverifiable truths.

Review:

"The 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire killed 146 workers, most of them women, and galvanized efforts to reform working conditions in sweatshops. In Esther Gottesfeld, the last remaining survivor of the Triangle fire, Weber (The Little Women) creates a believable and memorable witness to the horrors of that day. Esther managed to escape, but her fianc, Sam, and her sister, Pauline, both perished in the blaze. In 2001, Esther is living in a New York Jewish retirement home, visited often by her beloved granddaughter Rebecca and Rebecca's longtime partner, George Botkin. Rebecca and George's story and quirky rapport take up half of the book, and descriptions of George's music provide a needed counterpoint to the harrowing accounts of the fire and its aftermath. But Ruth Zion, a humorless but perceptive feminist scholar, sees inconsistencies in Esther's story and determines to ferret them out through repeated interviews with Esther and, after her death, with Rebecca. The novel carefully, and wrenchingly, allows both the reader and Rebecca to discover the secret truth about Esther and the Triangle without spelling it out; it is a truth that brings home the real sufferings of factory life as well as the human capacity to tell the stories we want to hear. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"Katharine Weber's fourth novel, 'Triangle,' begins in the voice of Esther Gottesfeld, who recalls her escape from the devastating Triangle Waist Company fire of 1911 in New York City, in which 146 workers died, including her sister Pauline. 'This is what happened. I was working at my machine, with only a few minutes left before the end of the day, I remember so clearly ...' Many of the sweatshop workers... Washington Post Book Review (read the entire Washington Post review)

Review:

"Weber demonstrates her deep understanding of her characters in this beautiful novel perfectly introduced by Robert Pinsky's poem 'Shirt.' Highly recommended." Library Journal

Review:

"[B]eautiful and haunting....Weber makes a significant point in this remarkable, quietly brilliant novel, that we need to both excavate facts and utilize our imaginations...in order to better know ourselves and our shared past." Hartford Courant

Review:

"With Triangle, [Weber] takes an unabashedly witty, boldly postmodern approach to an iconic American tragedy....Weber persuades us to go along with her by sheer storytelling ability." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"An exploration of history, memory and the meaning of truth that never quite coheres as a story." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"[A] pleasure that rewards close attention....[Weber] writes beautifully and makes wise choices, letting the reader work to unravel the mystery." Cleveland Plain Dealer

Review:

"However contrived the characters may seem at times, Weber's intellectually and emotionally engaged writing ensures we care about them. Triangle's structure enhances our empathy and adds suspense..." USA Today

Review:

"An elegant novel of ideas...rather than a re-creation of a historical event." Booklist

Review:

"Triangle is a strange, haunting and utterly compelling work that will linger long, like smoke after a fire." Baltimore Sun

Synopsis:

By the time she dies at age 106, Esther Gottesfeld, the last survivor of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire, has told the story of that day many times. But her own role remains mysterious: How did she survive? Are the gaps in her story just common mistakes, or has she concealed a secret over the years? As her granddaughter seeks the real story in the present day, a zealous feminist historian bears down on her with her own set of conclusions, and Esther's voice vies with theirs to reveal the full meaning of the tragedy.

 

A brilliant chronicle of the event that stood for ninety years as New York's most violent disaster, Triangle forces us to consider how we tell our stories, how we hear them, and how history is forged from unverifiable truths.

About the Author

Katharine Weber is the author of the novels The Little Women, The Music Lesson, and Objects in Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear. Her paternal grandmother finished buttonholes for the Triangle Shirtwaist Company in 1909.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Laurie Blum, November 11, 2007 (view all comments by Laurie Blum)
"Triangle" by Katharine Weber is a novel about the last remaining survivors of the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire which begain toward the end of March 28, 1911 in NY. The characters Esther and Ruth Zion are courageous & wise ... I read this story in one sitting!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(13 of 23 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

ISBN:
9780374281427
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Weber, Katharine
Author:
Weber, Katherine
Publisher:
Picador
Subject:
Historical
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
New york (n.y.)
Subject:
Women clothing workers
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
June 13, 2006
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
256
Dimensions:
8.25 x 6.21 x 0.67 in 0.5 lb

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Triangle: A Novel Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$9.95 In Stock
Product details 256 pages Farrar Straus Giroux - English 9780374281427 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "The 1911 Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire killed 146 workers, most of them women, and galvanized efforts to reform working conditions in sweatshops. In Esther Gottesfeld, the last remaining survivor of the Triangle fire, Weber (The Little Women) creates a believable and memorable witness to the horrors of that day. Esther managed to escape, but her fianc, Sam, and her sister, Pauline, both perished in the blaze. In 2001, Esther is living in a New York Jewish retirement home, visited often by her beloved granddaughter Rebecca and Rebecca's longtime partner, George Botkin. Rebecca and George's story and quirky rapport take up half of the book, and descriptions of George's music provide a needed counterpoint to the harrowing accounts of the fire and its aftermath. But Ruth Zion, a humorless but perceptive feminist scholar, sees inconsistencies in Esther's story and determines to ferret them out through repeated interviews with Esther and, after her death, with Rebecca. The novel carefully, and wrenchingly, allows both the reader and Rebecca to discover the secret truth about Esther and the Triangle without spelling it out; it is a truth that brings home the real sufferings of factory life as well as the human capacity to tell the stories we want to hear. (June)" Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review A Day" by , "Weber excels at a kind of fully realized, three-dimensional fiction. Her characters live, breathe, and inhabit very convincing spaces....Triangle is neatly plotted and embedded with sufficient clues to allow a diligent reader to unravel most of Esther's mystery far too easily. But when the denouement does arrive, there's just not quite enough 'there' there." (read the entire CSM review)
"Review" by , "Weber demonstrates her deep understanding of her characters in this beautiful novel perfectly introduced by Robert Pinsky's poem 'Shirt.' Highly recommended."
"Review" by , "[B]eautiful and haunting....Weber makes a significant point in this remarkable, quietly brilliant novel, that we need to both excavate facts and utilize our imaginations...in order to better know ourselves and our shared past."
"Review" by , "With Triangle, [Weber] takes an unabashedly witty, boldly postmodern approach to an iconic American tragedy....Weber persuades us to go along with her by sheer storytelling ability."
"Review" by , "An exploration of history, memory and the meaning of truth that never quite coheres as a story."
"Review" by , "[A] pleasure that rewards close attention....[Weber] writes beautifully and makes wise choices, letting the reader work to unravel the mystery."
"Review" by , "However contrived the characters may seem at times, Weber's intellectually and emotionally engaged writing ensures we care about them. Triangle's structure enhances our empathy and adds suspense..."
"Review" by , "An elegant novel of ideas...rather than a re-creation of a historical event."
"Review" by , "Triangle is a strange, haunting and utterly compelling work that will linger long, like smoke after a fire."
"Synopsis" by ,
By the time she dies at age 106, Esther Gottesfeld, the last survivor of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire, has told the story of that day many times. But her own role remains mysterious: How did she survive? Are the gaps in her story just common mistakes, or has she concealed a secret over the years? As her granddaughter seeks the real story in the present day, a zealous feminist historian bears down on her with her own set of conclusions, and Esther's voice vies with theirs to reveal the full meaning of the tragedy.

 

A brilliant chronicle of the event that stood for ninety years as New York's most violent disaster, Triangle forces us to consider how we tell our stories, how we hear them, and how history is forged from unverifiable truths.

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