Short History of Women

Short History of Women

A Novel

Book - 2009
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National Book Award finalist Kate Walbert's A Short History of Women is a profoundly moving portrayal of the complicated legacies of mothers and daughters, chronicling five generations of women from the close of the nineteenth century through the early years of the twenty-first.The novel opens in England in 1914 at the deathbed of Dorothy Townsend, a suffragette who starves herself for the cause. Her choice echoes in the stories of her descendants interwoven throughout: a brilliant daughter who tries to escape the burden of her mother's infamy by immigrating to America just after World War I to begin a career in science; a niece who chooses a conventional path -- marriage, children, suburban domesticity -- only to find herself disillusioned with her husband of fifty years and engaged in heartbreaking and futile antiwar protests; a great-granddaughter who wryly articulates the free-floating anxiety of the times while getting drunk on a children's playdate in post-9/11 Manhattan. In a kaleidoscope of voices and with a richness of imagery, emotion, and wit, Walbert portrays the ways in which successive generations of women have responded to what the Victorians called "The Woman Question." As she did in her critically acclaimed The Gardens of Kyoto and Our Kind, Walbert induces "a state in which the past seems to hang effortlessly amid the present" (The New York Times). A Short History of Women is her most ambitious novel, a thought-provoking and vividly original narrative that crisscrosses a century to reflect the tides of time and the ways in which the lives of our great-grandmothers resonate in our own.
Publisher: New York : Scribner, 2009
Edition: 1st Scribner hardcover ed
ISBN: 9781416594987
1416594981
Branch Call Number: FIC Walb
Characteristics: ix, 239 p. ; 24 cm

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stewaroby Sep 04, 2015

One of the New York Times Book Review's 10 Best Books of 2009. The reviewer called it "an exquisite slice of cake."

k
kozakd
Nov 09, 2014

The prose is beautifully done but it is a difficult read, maybe because the characters do not connect with the world or with the reader. A good read if you are an English teacher?

skd3 Aug 05, 2011

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