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2 Burnside Literature- A to Z

The Three Weissmanns of Westport

by

The Three Weissmanns of Westport Cover

 

 

Excerpt

     When Joseph Weissmann divorced his wife, he was seventy-eight years old and she was seventy-five. He announced his decision in the kitchen of their apartment on the tenth floor of a large, graceful Central Park West building built at the turn of the last century, the original white tiles of the kitchen still gleaming on the walls around them. Joseph, known as Joe to his colleagues at work but always called Joseph by his wife, said the words “irreconcilable differences,” and saw real confusion in his wifes eyes.

     Irreconcilable differences? she said. Of course there are irreconcilable differences. What on earth does that have to do with divorce?

     In Joes case it had very little to do with divorce. In Joes case, as is so often the case, the reason for the divorce was a woman. But a woman was not, unsurprisingly, the reason he gave his wife.

     Irreconcilable differences?

     Betty was surprised. They had been married for forty-eight years. She was used to Joseph, and she was sure Joseph was used to her. But he would not be dissuaded. Their history was history to him.

     Joseph had once been a handsome man. Even now, he was straight, unstooped; his bald head was somehow distinguished rather than lacking, as if men, important men, aspired to a smooth shining pate. His nose was narrow and protruded importantly. His eyes were also narrow and, as he aged, increasingly protected by folds of skin, as if they were secrets.Women liked him. Betty had certainly liked him, once. He was quiet and unobtrusive, requiring only a large breakfast before he went to work, a large glass of Scotch when he arrived home, and a small, light dinner at 7:30 sharp.

     Over the years, Betty began to forget that she liked Joseph. The large breakfast seemed grotesque, the drink obsessive, the light supper an affectation. This happened in their third decade together and lasted until their fourth. Then, Betty noticed, Josephs routines somehow began to take on a comforting rhythm, like the heartbeat of a mother to a newborn baby. Betty was once again content, in love, even. They traveled to Tuscany and stood in the Chianti hills watching the swallows and the swift clouds of slate-gray rain approaching. They took a boat through the fjords of Norway and another through the Galápagos Islands. They took a train through India from one palace to the next, imagining the vanished Raj and eating fragrant delicate curries. They did all these things together. And then, all these things stopped.

     “Irreconcilable differences,” Joe said.

     “Oh, Joseph. What does that have to do with divorce?”

     “I want to be generous,” Joe said.

     Generous? she thought. It was as if she were the maid and she was being fired. Would he offer her two months salary?

     “You cannot be generous with what is mine,” she said.

     And the divorce, like horses in a muddy race, their sides frothing, was off and running.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780312680527
Author:
Schine, Cathleen
Publisher:
Picador USA
Author:
Morton, Brian
Author:
Norton, Ashley Prentice
Author:
Lipman, Elinor
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Contemporary Women
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
writing;authors;feminism;women s issues;female writers;family;mother;daughter;gr
Subject:
wit;memoir;national treasure;literary lion;editor
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Publication Date:
20110231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
288
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.50 in

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Related Subjects


Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Contemporary Women
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Sale Books

The Three Weissmanns of Westport Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$7.98 In Stock
Product details 288 pages Picador USA - English 9780312680527 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by ,
A sister story about love, loneliness, and new life in middle age, from the author of The Family Man and The Inn at Lake Devine.
"Synopsis" by ,

A wise and entertaining novel about a woman who has lived life on her own terms for seventy-five defiant and determined years, only to find herself suddenly thrust to the center of her family’s various catastrophes

"Synopsis" by , The story of the daughter of a glamorous chocolate heiress who must navigate a complex landscape of wealth, sex, and decadence through a privileged childhood in Chicago and an East Coast prep school, with only her narcissistic mother to guide her.
"Synopsis" by ,
As addictive, decadent and delicious as chocolate itself

Set in 1980s Chicago and on the East Coast, this electric debut chronicles the relationship between an impossibly rich chocolate heiress, Babs Ballentyne, and her sensitive and bookish young daughter, Bettina. Babs plays by no one’s rules: naked Christmas cards, lavish theme parties with lewd installations at her Lake Shore Drive penthouse, nocturnal visits from her married lover, who “admires her centerfold” while his wife sleeps at their nearby home.

Bettina wants nothing more than to win her mother’s affection and approval, both of which prove elusive. When she escapes to an elite New Hampshire prep school, Bettina finds that her unorthodox upbringing makes it difficult to fit in with her peers, one of whom happens to be the son of Babs’s lover. As she struggles to forge an identity apart from her mother, Bettina walks a fine line between self-preservation and self-destruction.

As funny as it is scandalous, The Chocolate Money is Mommie Dearest, Prep, and 50 Shades of Gray all rolled into one compulsively readable book.

"Synopsis" by ,
A Kirkus Prize finalist

An Indie Next pick

 

“Exquisitely crafted . . . Witty, nuanced and ultimately moving.” —Maureen Corrigan, Fresh Air

 

"Florence Gordon may be the most magnificent fiction character you will meet this year." —Christian Science Monitor

Meet Florence Gordon: blunt and brilliant feminist icon to young women, invisible to everyone else. At seventy-five, Florence deserves to set down the burdens of family and work and shape her legacy at long last. But just as she begins writing her long-deferred memoir, her son Daniel returns to New York from Seattle with his wife and daughter, and they embroil Florence in their dramas, threatening her well-defended solitude. And then there’s her left foot, which is starting to drag . . . 

 
With searing wit, sophisticated intelligence, and a tender respect for humanity in all its flaws, Brian Morton introduces a constellation of unforgettable characters. Chief among them Florence, who can humble fools with just one barbed line, but who eventually finds there are realities even she cannot outwit.

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