Synopses & Reviews
The thirteen interrelated stories of Shakespeare’s Kitchen concern the universal longing for friendship, how we achieve new intimacies for ourselves, and how slowly, inexplicably, we lose them. Featuring six never-before-published pieces, Lore Segal’s stunning new book evolved from seven short stories that originally appeared in the New Yorker (including the O. Henry Prize–winning “The Reverse Bug”).
Ilka Weisz has accepted a teaching position at the Concordance Institute, a think tank in Connecticut, reluctantly leaving her New York circle of friends. After the comedy of her struggle to meet new people, Ilka comes to embrace, and be embraced by, a new set of acquaintances, including the institute’s director, Leslie Shakespeare, and his wife, Eliza. Through a series of memorable dinner parties, picnics, and Sunday brunches, Segal evokes the subtle drama and humor of the outsider’s loneliness, the comfort and charm of familiar companionship, the bliss of being in love, and the strangeness of our behavior in the face of other people’s deaths.
A magnificent and deeply moving work, Shakespeare’s Kitchen marks the long–awaited return of a writer at the height of her powers.
The highly praised new book that delivers a "hefty emotional wallop" (Chicago Tribune) from the acclaimed author of Other People's Houses and Her First American.
Shakespeare's Kitchen, Lore Segal's first major work of fiction in more than twenty years, was widely celebrated upon its publication in hardcover. Serialized in The New Yorker and excerpted in the 2008 O. Henry Prize Stories collection, it was also a Book Sense Pick, a Pick of the Week in both Entertainment Weekly and People magazine, and a Summer Reading Pick in Oprah's O Magazine.
In these "wry, finely honed, interlocking stories" (Atlantic Monthly), Segal offers a brilliant and nuanced portrayal of the lives of a close-knit group of friends and colleagues in a fictional college town in Connecticut. Told through a series of unforgettable dinner parties, afternoon picnics, and Sunday brunches, "the cumulative power of Shakespeare's Kitchen lies in Segal's dazzling ability to merge the mundane details of life with the arc of human emotion" (Washington Post Book World). It's a deeply moving work that marks the triumphant return of a writer at the height of her powers.
About the Author
Lore Segal was born in Vienna and educated at the University of London. The author of Other People’s Houses
, Her First American
, and Shakespeare’s Kitchen
(all published by The New Press) and other works, she is a regular contributor to the New Yorker
, the New York Times Book Review
, the New Republic
, and other publications. Between 1968 and 1996 she taught writing at Columbia University’s School of the Arts, Princeton University, Bennington College, Sarah Lawrence College, the University of Illinois at Chicago, and Ohio State University, from which she retired in 1996.