Author: Helen Simonson
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: 2016-03-22
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • “A novel to cure your Downton Abbey withdrawal . . . a delightful story about nontraditional romantic relationships, class snobbery and the everybody-knows-everybody complications of living in a small community.”—The Washington Post The bestselling author of Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand returns with a breathtaking novel of love on the eve of World War I that reaches far beyond the small English town in which it is set. NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE WASHINGTON POST AND NPR East Sussex, 1914. It is the end of England’s brief Edwardian summer, and everyone agrees that the weather has never been so beautiful. Hugh Grange, down from his medical studies, is visiting his Aunt Agatha, who lives with her husband in the small, idyllic coastal town of Rye. Agatha’s husband works in the Foreign Office, and she is certain he will ensure that the recent saber rattling over the Balkans won’t come to anything. And Agatha has more immediate concerns; she has just risked her carefully built reputation by pushing for the appointment of a woman to replace the Latin master. When Beatrice Nash arrives with one trunk and several large crates of books, it is clear she is significantly more freethinking—and attractive—than anyone believes a Latin teacher should be. For her part, mourning the death of her beloved father, who has left her penniless, Beatrice simply wants to be left alone to pursue her teaching and writing. But just as Beatrice comes alive to the beauty of the Sussex landscape and the colorful characters who populate Rye, the perfect summer is about to end. For despite Agatha’s reassurances, the unimaginable is coming. Soon the limits of progress, and the old ways, will be tested as this small Sussex town and its inhabitants go to war. Praise for The Summer Before the War “What begins as a study of a small-town society becomes a compelling account of war and its aftermath.”—Woman’s Day “This witty character study of how a small English town reacts to the 1914 arrival of its first female teacher offers gentle humor wrapped in a hauntingly detailed story.”—Good Housekeeping “Perfect for readers in a post–Downton Abbey slump . . . The gently teasing banter between two kindred spirits edging slowly into love is as delicately crafted as a bone-china teacup. . . . More than a high-toned romantic reverie for Anglophiles—though it serves the latter purpose, too.”—The Seattle Times “[Helen Simonson’s] characters are so vivid, it’s as if a PBS series has come to life. There’s scandal, star-crossed love and fear, but at its heart, The Summer Before the War is about loyalty, love and family.”—AARP: The Magazine “This luminous story of a family, a town, and a world in their final moments of innocence is as lingering and lovely as a long summer sunset.”—Annie Barrows, author of The Truth According to Us and co-author of The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society “Simonson is like a Jane Austen for our day and age—she is that good—and The Summer Before the War is nothing short of a treasure.”—Paula McLain, author of The Paris Wife and Circling the Sun
The Summer Before the War by Helen Simonson | Summary & Analysis Preview: The Summer Before the War is a novel that follows the inhabitants of a small English town through the onset of World War I. Its protagonist, Beatrice Nash, is a young woman who was recently orphaned. In the summer of 1914, she moves to Rye to escape the clutches of the oppressive relatives who administer her inheritance. Over the next few months, as she establishes herself as a Latin teacher, the war slowly drains the town of its vitality. Through Rye’s decline, despite hardships and sadness, Beatrice undergoes a period of positive personal growth. On the evening of Beatrice’s arrival in Rye, Agatha Kent and her nephews, Hugh Grange and Daniel Bookham, are at home awaiting their guest. Agatha is eager to meet the teacher she has championed in the face of the hiring committee’s reluctance to hire a woman… PLEASE NOTE: This is summary and analysis of the book and NOT the original book. Inside this Instaread Summary of The Summer Before the War: Summary of the book Important People Character Analysis Analysis of the Themes and Author’s Style About the Author With Instaread, you can get the key takeaways, summary and analysis of a book in 15 minutes. We read every chapter, identify the key takeaways and analyze them for your convenience.
Author: Judy Blundell
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: 2018-05-22
“A mesmerizing, head-spinning—and sometimes madcap-hilarious—take of have and have-nots.”—People (Book of the Week) NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY REAL SIMPLE AND KIRKUS REVIEWS • “In the smart, breezy, sweet spot between Meg Wolitzer and Elin Hilderbrand.”—Entertainment Weekly No matter what the world throws her way, at least Ruthie Beamish has the house. Located by the sea in a quiet Long Island village, the house is her nest egg—the retirement account shared with her ex-husband, Mike, and the college fund for their teenage daughter, Jem. The catch? To afford the house, Ruthie must let it go during the best part of the year. It’s Memorial Day weekend and the start of what Jem calls “the summer bummer”: the family’s annual exodus to make way for renters. This year, the Hamptons set has arrived. Adeline Clay is elegant and connected—and will never need to worry about money. Before long, she demonstrates an uncanny ability to help herself to Ruthie’s life. Is Adeline just being her fabulous self, or is she out to take what she wants? When an eccentric billionaire, his wayward daughter, a coterie of social climbers, and Ruthie’s old flame are thrown into the mix, the entire town finds itself on the verge of tumultuous change. But as Ruthie loses her grasp on her job, her home, and her family, she discovers a new talent for pushing back. By the end of one unhinged, unforgettable summer, nothing will be the same—least of all Ruthie. Praise for The High Season “Blundell knows the territory. . . . Her account of Ruthie’s coming to grips with a career, a daughter and a community in flux is as touching as it is convincing.”—The Wall Street Journal “A huge page-turner . . . so compelling . . . a classic beach read, but very smart, very intelligently written.”—Us Weekly, Emily Giffin’s Summer Reading Recommendations “An acid-laced domestic drama set during one golden summer on the moneyed, beachy North Fork of Long Island.”—The New York Times “Judy Blundell wields words like an oyster knife in this shimmering story of art, money, and celebrity.”—Helen Simonson, New York Times bestselling author of The Summer Before the War “A wry, often hilarious story of a woman trying to keep it together when everything is going so, so wrong.”—Real Simple
Author: M. Thomas Inge
Publisher: UNC Press Books
Release Date: 2014-02-01
Offering a comprehensive view of the South's literary landscape, past and present, this volume of The New Encyclopedia of Southern Culture celebrates the region's ever-flourishing literary culture and recognizes the ongoing evolution of the southern literary canon. As new writers draw upon and reshape previous traditions, southern literature has broadened and deepened its connections not just to the American literary mainstream but also to world literatures--a development thoughtfully explored in the essays here. Greatly expanding the content of the literature section in the original Encyclopedia, this volume includes 31 thematic essays addressing major genres of literature; theoretical categories, such as regionalism, the southern gothic, and agrarianism; and themes in southern writing, such as food, religion, and sexuality. Most striking is the fivefold increase in the number of biographical entries, which introduce southern novelists, playwrights, poets, and critics. Special attention is given to contemporary writers and other individuals who have not been widely covered in previous scholarship.
The ocean, the wild roses on the dunes and the stunning Cliff House, perched atop a bluff in Sconset, Nantucket. Inside the faded pages of the Cliff House guest book live the spellbinding stories of its female inhabitants: from Ruby, a bright-eyed newlywed on the eve of World War II to her granddaughter Bess, who returns to the beautiful summer estate. For the first time in four years, physician Bess Codman visits the compound her great-grandparents built almost a century before, but due to erosion, the once-grand home will soon fall into the sea. Bess must now put aside her complicated memories in order to pack up the house and deal with her mother, a notorious town rabble-rouser, who refuses to leave. It’s not just memories of her family home Bess must face though, but also an old love that might hold new possibilities. In the midst of packing Bess rediscovers the forgotten family guest book. Bess’s grandmother and primary keeper of the book, Ruby, always said Cliff House was a house of women, and by the very last day of the very last summer at Cliff House, Bess will understand the truth of her grandmother’s words in ways she never imagined.
Author: David Kieran
Publisher: Rutgers University Press
Release Date: 2015-08-04
Genre: Social Science
Following the 9/11 attacks, approximately four million Americans have turned eighteen each year and more than fifty million children have been born. These members of the millennial and post-millennial generation have come of age in a moment marked by increased anxiety about terrorism, two protracted wars, and policies that have raised questions about the United States's role abroad and at home. Young people have not been shielded from the attacks or from the wars and policy debates that followed. Instead, they have been active participants—as potential military recruits and organizers for social justice amid anti-immigration policies, as students in schools learning about the attacks or readers of young adult literature about wars. The War of My Generation is the first essay collection to focus specifically on how the terrorist attacks and their aftermath have shaped these new generations of Americans. Drawing from a variety of disciplines, including anthropology, sociology, cultural studies, and literary studies, the essays cover a wide range of topics, from graphic war images in the classroom to computer games designed to promote military recruitment to emails from parents in the combat zone. The collection considers what cultural factors and products have shaped young people's experience of the 9/11 attacks, the wars that have followed, and their experiences as emerging citizen-subjects in that moment. Revealing how young people understand the War on Terror—and how adults understand the way young people think—The War of My Generation offers groundbreaking research on catastrophic events still fresh in our minds.
Author: Randall Stevenson
Publisher: University Press of Kentucky
Release Date: 1993
Genre: Literary Criticism
The novel is the major literary phenomenon of the twentieth century, and its development in Britain since 1900 has reflected the tumultuous changes that have characterized modern society. Randall Stevenson now presents an accessible and authoritative guide to the work of th ecentury's leading novelists as well as many of its lesser known writers. In this stimulating and wide-ranging account, Stevenson locates the work of individual writers, from Conrad to Jeanette Winterson, within an evolving literary history and the wider context of social, political, and cultural change. Included are British writers working in exile and writers with origins elsewhere, such as James and Rushdie, who have chosen to work in Britain. Women novelists are accorded their rightful prominence. This clear and lively survey deals with a broad range of movements, including modernism and postmodernism, as well as the influence of other world literatures and the impact of two world wars. An ideal text, this is a 'guide' in the best sense—concise and lucid, well-informed and perceptive. Readers new to the field will appreciate Stevenson's clear direction, while the experienced will be delighted by newly revealed connections and fresh perspectives.
'A startlingly modern love story and a mesmerizing portrait of a woman's self-transformation from muse into artist.' Celest Ng, author of Little Fires Everywhere Model. Muse. Lover. Artist. 'I'd rather take a picture than be one,' Lee Miller declares, as she arrives in Paris one cool day in 1929. Lee has left behind her life in New York and a successful modelling career at Vogue to pursue her dream of becoming a photographer. She soon catches the eye of renowned Surrealist artist Man Ray and convinces him to hire her as his assistant. Man is an egotistical, charismatic force, and as Lee becomes both his muse and his protégé, they embark upon a passionate affair. Lee and Man spend their days working closely in the studio and their nights at smoky cabarets, opium dens and wild parties. But as Lee begins to assert herself, and to create pioneering work of her own, Man's jealousy spirals out of control, and leads to a betrayal that threatens to destroy them both . . . Transporting us from bohemian Paris to the battlefields of WWII, The Age of Light is a powerful and intoxicating story about love, obsession and the personal price of ambition. In her immersive debut novel, Whitney Scharer brings a brilliant and revolutionary artist out of the shadow of a man's legacy, and into the light. 'Whitney Scharer's storytelling is utterly immersive and gorgeous in its details . . . powerful, sensual and gripping.' Madeleine Miller, author of Circe
Author: Adam Piette
Publisher: Edinburgh University Press
Release Date: 2012-03-07
The first reference book to deal so fully and incisively with the cultural representations of war in 20th-century English and US literature and film. The volume covers the two World Wars as well as specific conflicts that generated literary and imaginativ
Author: Emily Mitchell
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Release Date: 2008-07-17
"Absorbing…Mitchell's novel [is] the real thing." —Boston Globe In the summer of 1918, with the Germans threatening Paris, Edward Steichen arrives in France to photograph the war for the American army. There, he finds a country filled with poignant memories for him: early artistic success, marriage, the birth of two daughters, and a love affair that divided his family. Told with elegance and transporting historical sensitivity, Emily Mitchell’s first novel captures the life of a great American artist caught in the reckoning of a painful past in a world beset by war. A Finalist for the New York Public Library's Young Lion's Fiction Award and named a Best Book of the Year by the Providence Journal, the Austin-American-Stateman, and the Madison Capital Times.
Follow the eccentric, cantankerous, utterly charming Professor Chandra as he tries to answer the biggest question of all: What makes us happy? “Searingly funny, uplifting, and wonderful . . . Professor Chandra is as unbending a curmudgeon as one could wish to find scowling from the pages of a novel.”—Helen Simonson, New York Times bestselling author of Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand and The Summer Before the War Professor Chandra is an internationally renowned economist, divorced father of three (quite frankly baffling) children, recent victim of a bicycle hit-and-run—but so much more than the sum of his parts. In the moments after the accident, Professor Chandra doesn’t see his life flash before his eyes but his life’s work. He’s just narrowly missed the Nobel Prize (again), and even though he knows he should get straight back to his pie charts, his doctor has other ideas. All this work. All this success. All this stress. It’s killing him. He needs to take a break, start enjoying himself. In short, says his doctor, he should follow his bliss. Professor Chandra doesn’t know it yet, but he’s about to embark on the journey of a lifetime. Advance praise for Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss “There’s a long tradition of trying (and failing) to describe the spiritual search and the ineffable mystery without sounding like a pretentious snob or a sappy Pollyanna. Professor Chandra Follows His Bliss manages to pull it off. The book tackles perennially difficult and deep questions with humor and humanity, beautiful writing, and a page-turning story line. I gave myself over to Professor Chandra’s journey as he opens himself to self-examination, family healing, and a more courageous experience of being alive.”—Elizabeth Lesser, New York Times bestselling author of Broken Open and co-founder, Omega Institute “I loved this beautiful, beautiful book. It’s tender and compassionate, it’s written with exquisite care and verve, and it’s so so so funny.”—Marian Keyes, internationally bestselling author of Angels and Last Chance Saloon “A smart, funny, generous story about an eminent Indian economist who comes of age, finally, at seventy . . . comic and heartfelt, bracing and moving.”—Susan Rieger, author of The Heirs
Author: Cecil D. Eby
Publisher: Duke University Press
Release Date: 1987
Genre: Literary Criticism
The Lost Generation has held the imagination of those who succeeded them, partly because the idea that modern war could be romantic, generous, and noble died with the casualties of that war. From this remove, it seems almost perverse that Britons, Germans, and Frenchmen of every social class eagerly rushed to the fields of Flanders and to misery and death. In The Road to Armageddon Cecil Eby shows how the widely admired writers of English popular fiction and poetry contributed, at least in England, to a romantic militarism coupled with xenophobia that helped create the climate that made World War I seem almost inevitable. Between the close of the Franco-Prussian War of 1871 and the opening guns of 1914, the works of such widely read and admired writers as H. G. Wells, Rudyard Kipling, J. M. Barrie, and Rupert Brooke, as well as a host of now almost forgotten contemporaries, bombarded their avid readers with strident warnings of imminent invasions and prophecies of the collapse of civilization under barbarian onslaught and internal moral collapse. Eby seems these narratives as growing from and in turn fueling a collective neurosis in which dread of coming war coexisted with an almost loving infatuation with it. The author presents a vivid panorama of a militant mileau in which warfare on a scale hitherto unimaginable was largely coaxed into being by works of literary imagination. The role of covert propaganda, concealed in seemingly harmless literary texts, is memorably illustrated.
Author: Aleksandar Hemon
Publisher: Pan Macmillan
Release Date: 2013-03-14
Genre: Biography & Autobiography
Aleksandar Hemon grew up in a blissful Sarajevo, where his childhood was consumed by football, his adolescence by friends, movies and girls and where, as a young man, he poked at the pretensions of his beloved city with American music, bad poetry, and slightly better journalism. And then at twenty-seven Hemon flew to Chicago for a month-long visit. A matter of weeks later Sarajevo was engulfed in an atrocious war and Hemon found himself an exile – he wouldn’t return home for five years, and when he did, he found his city irrevocably changed.
Author: Norman Mailer
Publisher: Random House
Release Date: 2003-01-21
“Writing is spooky,” according to Norman Mailer. “There is no routine of an office to keep you going, only the blank page each morning, and you never know where your words are coming from, those divine words.” In The Spooky Art, Mailer discusses with signature candor the rewards and trials of the writing life, and recommends the tools to navigate it. Addressing the reader in a conversational tone, he draws on the best of more than fifty years of his own criticism, advice, and detailed observations about the writer’s craft. Praise for The Spooky Art “The Spooky Art shows Mailer’s brave willingness to take on demanding forms and daunting issues. . . . He has been a thoughtful and stylish witness to the best and worst of the American century.”—The Boston Globe “At his best—as artists should be judged—Mailer is indispensable, an American treasure. There is enough of his best in this book for it to be welcomed with gratitude.”—The Washington Post “[The Spooky Art] should nourish and inform—as well as entertain—almost any serious reader of the novel.”—Baltimore Sun “The richest book ever written about the writer’s subconscious.”—The Philadelphia Inquirer “Striking . . . entrancingly frank.”—Entertainment Weekly Praise for Norman Mailer “[Norman Mailer] loomed over American letters longer and larger than any other writer of his generation.”—The New York Times “A writer of the greatest and most reckless talent.”—The New Yorker “A devastatingly alive and original creative mind.”—Life “Mailer is fierce, courageous, and reckless and nearly everything he writes has sections of headlong brilliance.”—The New York Review of Books “The largest mind and imagination [in modern] American literature . . . Unlike just about every American writer since Henry James, Mailer has managed to grow and become richer in wisdom with each new book.”—Chicago Tribune “Mailer is a master of his craft. His language carries you through the story like a leaf on a stream.”—The Cincinnati Post From the Hardcover edition.
Author: Cameron McWhirter
Publisher: Henry Holt and Company
Release Date: 2011-07-19
A narrative history of America's deadliest episode of race riots and lynchings After World War I, black Americans fervently hoped for a new epoch of peace, prosperity, and equality. Black soldiers believed their participation in the fight to make the world safe for democracy finally earned them rights they had been promised since the close of the Civil War. Instead, an unprecedented wave of anti-black riots and lynchings swept the country for eight months. From April to November of 1919, the racial unrest rolled across the South into the North and the Midwest, even to the nation's capital. Millions of lives were disrupted, and hundreds of lives were lost. Blacks responded by fighting back with an intensity and determination never seen before. Red Summer is the first narrative history written about this epic encounter. Focusing on the worst riots and lynchings—including those in Chicago, Washington, D.C., Charleston, Omaha and Knoxville—Cameron McWhirter chronicles the mayhem, while also exploring the first stirrings of a civil rights movement that would transform American society forty years later.