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2 Local Warehouse Literature- A to Z

This title in other editions

Matrimony (Vintage Contemporaries)


Matrimony (Vintage Contemporaries) Cover



Reading Group Guide

“Charming. . . . Henkin keeps you reading with original characters, witty dialogue, and a view that marriage, for all its flaws, is worth the trouble.”


The introduction, questions, and suggestions for further reading that follow are designed to stimulate your group's discussion of Joshua Henkin's Matrimony.

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Dear Reader, September 21, 2008 (view all comments by Dear Reader)
I want to know what happens next.

I could relate to each of the four characters. I could feel their regrets, their sorrows, and their fears.

I will definitely read all of Henkin's works.
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(11 of 16 readers found this comment helpful)

Product Details

Henkin, Joshua
Vintage Books USA
Man-woman relationships
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Trade paper
Vintage Contemporaries
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8.02x5.26x.66 in. .49 lbs.

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Related Subjects

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

Matrimony (Vintage Contemporaries) Used Trade Paper
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Product details 304 pages Random House - English 9780307277169 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In 1987, Manhattan-reared hothouse flower Julian Wainwright matriculates at the alternative Graymont College for the express purposes of attending Professor Stephen Chesterfield's exclusive fiction writing workshop. As Chesterfield dryly infuses his writing wisdom, Julian befriends the cocky, aloof, lesser-born Carter Heinz when they are the only two to whom Chesterfield gives the nod. Carter soon meets Pilar in the cafeteria; Julian meets Mia in the laundry room. Carter's simmering class resentment of Julian surfaces. Senior year finds the two couples living next door to one another and plotting their futures. Henkin (Swimming Across the Hudson) subsequently follows the lovers for the next 15 years through countless college towns, family dramas, failed literary projects and the dot-com boom. Many scenes are too long, and never get below the surface of the cast, particularly wannabe-litterateur Julian. But for a book called Matrimony, Henkin offers surprisingly little about Julian and Mia's marriage, so when big confrontations do arrive, they quickly slide into melodrama. By then, lines like 'But I don't want to get my M.F.A. Can't you understand that? I've already been in enough writing workshops' will have cleared the classroom." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "In this heartfelt homage to the risks and rewards of marriage, Henkin never artificially amps up his material, instead allowing the quiet accumulation of his characters' shared experiences to create for his readers a world they will recognize and relate to."
"Review" by , "In the tradition of John Cheever and Richard Yates, Joshua Henkin has written a devastating novel about love, hope, delusion, and the intricate ways in which time's passage raises us up even as it grinds us down. It's a beautiful book. Here's to its brilliant future."
"Review" by , "In this classically composed second novel of a couple who meet and fall in love at their liberal arts college in the Berkshires, Henkin...sensitively examines the 15 years of love and marriage that follow."
"Review" by , "[A]n appealing story of romance, wedlock, personal and spousal conflict and growth....Ragged, but it gets to you and stays with you. Expect even better things from Henkin in the future."
"Review" by , "While not earthshakingly original, this novel takes a good look at love, friendship, and marriage from the Reagan years to the new century. Recommended."
"Review" by , "With vibrant intelligence, Matrimony looks at the mystery of how a couple stays together and the ways even the most privileged among us are subject to the disasters wrought by our incalculable natures. A luminous tale, eloquently told."
"Review" by , "[Henkin] is able to explore in depth a surprisingly wide array of issues universal to the experiences of marriage. . . . It is a testament to Matrimony's redemptive power that at the end of the novel, despite all of the difficulties the characters face, the reader might still want to get, or stay, married."
"Review" by , "Mr. Henkin writes with a winningly anachronistic absence of showiness.... This is just a lifelike, likable book populated by three-dimensional characters who make themselves very much at home on the page."
"Review" by , "[A] charming novel ... Henkin keeps you reading with original characters, witty dialogue and a view that marriage, for all its flaws, is worth the trouble."
"Review" by , "Henkin is a master of scenemaking, and each scene reveals enough of his story that we must go on to the next scene, to see what consequence it has."
"Synopsis" by , In its emotional honesty, its luminous prose, and wry wit, Matrimony is a beautifully detailed portrait of what it means to share a life with someone — to do so when young, and to try to do it afresh on the brink of middle age.
"Synopsis" by , US
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