Synopses & Reviews
NOMINATED FOR THE LOS ANGELES TIMES BOOK PRIZE
A profoundly moving portrait of the complicated legacies of mothers and daughters, A Short History of Women chronicles five generations of women from the close of the nineteenth century through the early years of the twenty-first. Beginning in 1914 at the deathbed of Dorothy Trevor Townsend, a suffragette who starves herself for the cause, the novel traces the echoes of her choice in the stories of her descendants—a brilliant daughter who tries to escape the burden of her mother’s infamy; a granddaughter who chooses a conventional path, only to find herself disillusioned; a great-granddaughter who wryly articulates the free-floating anxiety of post-9/11 Manhattan. In a kaleidoscope of characters and with a richness of imagery, emotion, and wit, A Short History of Women is a thought-provoking and vividly original narrative that crisscrosses a century—a book for "any woman who has ever struggled to find her own voice; to make sense of being a mother, wife, daughter, and lover" (Associated Press)
"What a marvelous book: one part Transit of Venus, one part Stone Diaries, one part incomparable. Actually, that's not true: she write like a female Ian McEwan."--Stacy Schiff, Pulitzer-Prize winning author of A Great Improvisation: Franklin, France, and the Birth of America
"Wickedly smart . . .
"Ambitious and impressive . . .
"A subtle and profound book, as thought-provoking as it is moving."
—Ann Packer, author of The Dive From Clausen’s Pier
"Wickedly smart . . . A gorgeously wrought and ultimately wrenching work of art."
—Leah Hager Cohen, New York Times Book Review (cover review)
"Ambitious and impressive . . . Reminiscent of a host of innovative writers from Virginia Woolf to Muriel Spark to Pat Barker . . . A witty and assured testament to the women’s movement and women writers, obscure and renowned.”—Washington Post
From National Book Award nominee Kate Walbert, a provocative and beautiful novel about five generations of women.
About the Author
Kate Walbert is the author of the novels A Short History of Women, chosen one of the ten best books of 2009 by TheNew York Times Book Review and finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize; Our Kind, nominated for the National Book Award; The Gardens of Kyoto, a Book Sense top ten and winner of the Connecticut Book Award; and the New York Times notable story collection, Where She Went. Walbert’s stories have been published in The New Yorker, The Paris Review, Public Space, Ploughshares, and the O. Henry Awards, and have twice been included in The Best American Short Stories. Her novels have been included in the best books of the year by TheNew York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, The Seattle Times, Library Journal, Slate and others, as well as translated into many languages. She has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Connecticut Commission on the Arts, and in 2011 was a fellow at the Dorothy and Lewis B. Cullman Center for Scholars and Writers at the New York Public Library. Her plays have had readings at Playwrights Horizons, the Roundabout Theatre, and New York Stage and Film. Her play, Genius, will premier at Profiles Theatre in Chicago in 2015, and she is currently working on a dramatic adaptation of A Short History of Women. For many years, Walbert taught fiction writing at Yale University.