A review of a woman's marriage to a preeminent novelist and her contributions to his success.
This made for an interesting discussion in our book group. I'm not sure of the author's point of reference time wise as this seemed to be of her mother's generation.
This book is devastating. I've read quite a bit about how women's writing is suppressed, but analytic cultural criticism is one thing and a novel dealing with the same things is another. I read this book through in one sitting, horrified and transfixed. Joan Castleman is an intense character, morally complex and fully realized in a way that women characters are all-too-often not allowed to be. Joe Castleman, the husband, also feels authentic to me, like male writers I have known and loathed. The circumstances of their life together also felt fully realized and authentic in a way that made me furious--not at the book but at the world. Anyone who loves a female artist should read this book, as should anyone who as ever voiced an opinion about why there aren't more 'great' women writers--or 'great' women actors, painters, musicians, etc.
A good read - soon to be released movie with Glenn Close.
I enjoyed this book even though I wished that Wolitzer provided more depth to the characters. However, it was an entertaining satirical depiction of the post-WWII crowd of male authors (read Updike, Bellow, Cheever types) with huge egos along with prodigious skirt-chasing. The ending was a bit of a surprise to me and ultimately not believable, but I won't give it away. Wolitzer is a prolific, fun writer who tackles major issues (such as sexism and family dysfunction). I hope her writing matures into better character development.
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