Minecraft Adventures B2G1 Free
 
 

Special Offers see all

Enter to WIN a $100 Credit

Subscribe to PowellsBooks.news
for a chance to win.
Privacy Policy

Visit our stores


    Recently Viewed clear list


    Original Essays | Yesterday, 11:39am

    Sara Jaffe: IMG Summer Friction



    I was crying or almost crying for most of Fun Home: The Musical — I already loved Alison Bechdel's graphic novel, and I've always been a... Continue »
    1. $10.47 Sale Trade Paper add to wish list

      Dryland

      Sara Jaffe 9781941040133

    spacer
Qualifying orders ship free.
$3.95
List price: $16.00
Used Trade Paper
Ships in 1 to 3 days
Add to Wishlist
Qty Store Section
1 Local Warehouse Literature- A to Z

A Happy Marriage

by

A Happy Marriage Cover

ISBN13: 9781439102312
ISBN10: 1439102317
Condition: Standard
All Product Details

Only 1 left in stock at $3.95!

 

 

Reading Group Guide

Questions and Topics for Discussion

1. The chapters in A Happy Marriage alternate between the first few weeks of Enrique and Margaret's relationship and twenty-nine years later, as Margaret is in the final weeks of her battle with cancer. Why do you think author Rafael Yglesias structured the novel in this way? How might your response to the novel be different if the timeline were linear?

2. Enrique frequently mentions that he's half Jewish and half Spanish. Do you believe his heritage influences him and how he interacts with others?

3. "She was going to die and he was not; in the undeclared war of marriage, it was an appalling victory" (pg. 23). What does Enrique mean by an "undeclared war"? What does the institution of marriage mean to both Enrique and Margaret?

4. After she can no longer fight to stay alive, Margaret makes a series of choices about her death and her funeral and how she says her goodbyes to the people who are important to her. What do you think about these decisions she makes?

5. On his way to the orphans' dinner, Enrique "wanted to be late....which was odd, because he wanted more than anything to be alone with her" (pg. 57). Why is Enrique so nervous about how others perceive him? What examples are there of Enrique's vanity preventing him from getting what he wants? When, if ever, does he feel comfortable?

6. How did Enrique's early success as an author affect him? "He really was an American Raskolnikov, too intelligent to be reconciled to his unimportance and helpless to escape it" (pg. 64). Why does Enrique believe he cannot escape "unimportance"? Does Margaret feel the same way about him? Does Enrique remind you of any other literary characters?

7. Enrique frequently notes Margaret's blue eyes. What do they represent to him?

8. How does her diagnosis change Margaret's relationship with her mother, if at all?

9. How does the Sabas family compare to the Cohens? Are their reactions to Margaret's illness consistent with their characters?

10. During their first few weeks together, Enrique continuously finds himself unable to consummate their relationship because he says he's "afraid." What frightens him?

11. After years of rejecting Enrique's attempts to give her a pleasing birthday gift, he finally succeeds and Margaret leaves it up to him to choose the site of her grave. What does this mean to Enrique?

12. Were you surprised by Enrique's affair with Margaret's friend, Sally? Were they really in love, or was Enrique longing for his "reckless youth," when he was seemingly free of obligations? Why doesn't he leave with Sally? And what do you think of his choice never to tell Margaret? Is total honesty good or bad for a relationship?

13. Enrique and Margaret have a close, intimate relationship, but at times their intense love for each other almost borders on hate. Discuss their connection and how they strive to make it work. Why did it take Margaret's diagnosis for Enrique to realize what she really meant to his life?

14. "He was allowed to be the free-range artist that she had adventurously married — except with her; she wanted him trussed up like a roast" (pg. 252). Was Margaret really this controlling? If so, was she aware of how her behavior affected Enrique?

15. Margaret tells her husband, "I'm not like you. It took me a while to find out. I don't need to paint to be happy. I'm happy. Here. With you" (pg. 295). What does her art mean to Margaret, and why is her work so important to Enrique?

16. "He said his paltry goodbye and she was deaf to it" (pg. 358). Why does Enrique wait so long to tell her what she's meant to him?

17. Who or what is the love of Enrique's life?

Tips to Enhance Your Book Club

1. Rafael Yglesias adapted one of his earlier novels, Fearless, into a film. After discussing A Happy Marriage, watch the movie as a group. Are there parallels between the film and A Happy Marriage?

2. A significant portion of the novel takes place in New York City's Greenwich Village during the 1970s. Since culture was so important to many of the characters, do research on what music was popular during that era, and play the songs during your meeting.

3. Like Enrique, Yglesias dropped out of high school to write his first book, Hide Fox, and All After. Read the novel and see how the teenager's work compares to the adult's.

4. To read about Rafael Yglesias's novels, movies and upcoming appearances, make sure to visit www.rafaelyglesias.com.

What Our Readers Are Saying

Add a comment for a chance to win!
Average customer rating based on 3 comments:

Megan Keach, January 1, 2011 (view all comments by Megan Keach)
Loved It.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
Laurie Blum, September 25, 2010 (view all comments by Laurie Blum)
"A Happy Marriage" by Rafael Yglesias tells the story of a mostly companionable 27 year marriage of Enrique & Margaret Sabas. The novel is very autobiographical—Enrique, like Yglesias, is a literary prodigy, having quit school @ 16 after the publication of his first novel. The story opens five years later, and Enrique, now 21 years old, is living the despondent life of the "midlist" novelist in a fifth-floor walk-up in Soho (which was a fun "virtual visit" to NYC). Through an aspiring writer friend, Bernard, he meets the lovely Margaret Cohen (Yglesias’s wife in "real life" was named Margaret as well), a cheerful playful young lady with whom Enrique falls abruptly & agonizingly in love. Each tiny step toward intimacy—a late night spent talking until dawn, a phone call that yields not a date but an invitation to a large holiday dinner at Margaret’s studio apartment, a meal on the cheap at a neighborhood dive—moves them closer to happy relationship.
You can parctically "feel" the characters thinking & developing, such vivid descriptions which are interwoven with merciless details of Margaret's untimely passing from symptoms of bladder cancer complete with surgeries & treatment. I was reminded of my dear ones who suffered with similar agonies, knowing that usually cancer wins. I wept but am celebrating this courageous literary masterpiece which should be "required reading" for all couples ... in sickness & in health!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(7 of 14 readers found this comment helpful)
Laurie Blum, September 25, 2010 (view all comments by Laurie Blum)
"A Happy Marriage" by Rafael Yglesias tells the story of a mostly companionable 27 year marriage of Enrique & Margaret Sabas. The novel is very autobiographical—Enrique, like Yglesias, is a literary prodigy, having quit school @ 16 after the publication of his first novel. The story opens five years later, and Enrique, now 21 years old, is living the despondent life of the "midlist" novelist in a fifth-floor walk-up in Soho (which was a fun "virtual visit" to NYC). Through an aspiring writer friend, Bernard, he meets the lovely Margaret Cohen (Yglesias’s wife in "real life" was named Margaret as well), a cheerful playful young lady with whom Enrique falls abruptly & agonizingly in love. Each tiny step toward intimacy—a late night spent talking until dawn, a phone call that yields not a date but an invitation to a large holiday dinner at Margaret’s studio apartment, a meal on the cheap at a neighborhood dive—moves them closer to happy relationship.
You can parctically "feel" the characters thinking & developing, such vivid descriptions which are interwoven with merciless details of Margaret's untimely passing from symptoms of bladder cancer complete with surgeries & treatment. I was reminded of my dear ones who suffered with similar agonies, knowing that usually cancer wins. I wept but am celebrating this courageous literary masterpiece which should be "required reading" for all couples ... in sickness & in health!
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(7 of 13 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 3 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9781439102312
Author:
Yglesias, Rafael
Publisher:
Scribner Book Company
Subject:
Marriage
Subject:
Spouses
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Subject:
wisdom of perversity; joyce carol oates
Edition Description:
Trade Paperback
Publication Date:
20100831
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
384
Dimensions:
8.44 x 5.5 in 11.515 oz

Other books you might like

  1. Year of Wonders: A Novel of the Plague
    Used Trade Paper $7.50
  2. Truth and Beauty: A Friendship
    Used Hardcover $6.95
  3. Waterworks (94 Edition) Used Trade Paper $5.00
  4. The Sea: A Novel
    Used Hardcover $4.95
  5. In the Next Room (or the Vibrator Play) Used Trade Paper $8.00
  6. A Troubled Guest: Life and Death Stories Used Trade Paper $7.50

Related Subjects


Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Biographical
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Family Life
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Sale Books

A Happy Marriage Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$3.95 In Stock
Product details 384 pages Scribner Book Company - English 9781439102312 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , A Happy Marriage, Yglesias’s return to fiction after a thirteen-year hiatus, was inspired by his relationship with his wife, who died in 2004. Both intimate and expansive, it is a stunningly candid novel that alternates between the romantic misadventures of the first weeks of the courtship of Enrique Sabas and his wife Margaret and the final months of her life as she says good-bye to her family, friends, and children—and to Enrique. Spanning thirty years, this achingly honest story is about what it means for two people to spend a lifetime together—and what makes a happy marriage. “Anyone in a relationship will be able to relate,” said USA TODAY .

Told from the husband’s point of view, with revelatory and sometimes disarming candor, the novel charts the ebb and flow of marriage, illuminating both the mundane moments and the magic. Bold, elegiac, and emotionally suspenseful, Yglesias’s beautiful novel will break every reader’s heart—while encouraging all of us with its clear-eyed evocation of the enduring value of marital love.

"Synopsis" by , A Happy Marriage is both intimate and expansive: It is the story of Enrique Sabas and his wife, Margaret, a novel that alternates between the romantic misadventures of the first weeks of their courtship and the final months of Margaret's life as she says good-bye to her family, friends, and children — and to Enrique. Spanning thirty years, this achingly honest story is about what it means for two people to spend a lifetime together — and what makes a happy marriage.

Yglesias's career as a novelist began in 1970 when he wrote an autobiographical novel at sixteen, hailed by critics for its stunning and revelatory depiction of adolescence. A Happy Marriage, his first work of fiction in thirteen years, was inspired by his relationship with his wife, Margaret, who died in 2004. Bold, elegiac, and emotionally suspenseful, even though we know what happens, Yglesias's beautiful novel will break every reader's heart — while encouraging all of us with its clear-eyed evocation of the enduring value of marriage.

spacer
spacer
  • back to top

FOLLOW US ON...

       
Powell's City of Books is an independent bookstore in Portland, Oregon, that fills a whole city block with more than a million new, used, and out of print books. Shop those shelves — plus literally millions more books, DVDs, and gifts — here at Powells.com.