The Age of Grief PDF/EPUB è The Age PDF/EPUB ²

The Age of Grief ❰Download❯ ➾ The Age of Grief Author Jane Smiley – Thomashillier.co.uk The luminous novella and stories in The Age of Griefexplore the vicissitudes of love, friendship, and marriage with all the compassion and insight that have come to be expected from Jane Smiley, the P The luminous novella and stories in The Age of Griefexplore the vicissitudes of love, friendship, and marriage with all the compassion and insight that have come to be expected from Jane Smiley, the Pulitzer Prize winning author of A Thousand AcresIn The Pleasure of Her Company, a lonely, single woman befriends the married couple next door, hoping The Age PDF/EPUB ² to learn the secret of their happiness In Long Distance, a man finds himself relieved of the obligation to continue an affair that is no longer compelling to him, only to be waylaid by the guilt he feels at his easy escape And in the incandescently wise and moving title novella, a dentist, aware that his wife has fallen in love with someone else, must comfort her when she is spurned, while maintaining the secret of his own complicated sorrow Beautifully written, with a wry intelligence and a lively comic touch, The Age of Grief captures moments of great intimacy with grace, clarity, and indelible emotional power.


10 thoughts on “The Age of Grief

  1. Paul Paul says:

    I read the title novella earlier this year and to say I loved it would be an understatement, so I thought I d check out the collection It s an unfair criticism, perhaps, but the five preceding stories just don t really compare or perhaps even hold up to the novella It feels like so much throat clearing Really eloquent throat clearing, of course, but because I knew what was coming at the end, I could never fully immerse myself in the stories A couple are pretty great, then conclude with a l I read the title novella earlier this year and to say I loved it would be an understatement, so I thought I d check out the collection It s an unfair criticism, perhaps, but the five preceding stories just don t really compare or perhaps even hold up to the novella It feels like so much throat clearing Really eloquent throat clearing, of course, but because I knew what was coming at the end, I could never fully immerse myself in the stories A couple are pretty great, then conclude with a less than fantastic epiphanic ending The writing throughout is great, but, again, the weight of the stories pales next to the novella Which, God The novella is flawless Just absolutely flawless Reading it is like being on a bullet train, though a really soft, comfortable bullet train rocketing you toward tragedy The writing is so confident it s unbelievable There are certain passages where you ll weep, I can almost guarantee it These are 100 pages that everyone who can read should read All herein concerns domesticity and marriage, which are right up my alley, literarilly speaking, so maybe it s not everyone s bag, but Smiley s prose is such that I don t see how it couldn t be The kind of story you just lose yourself in, and realize you ve been thinking about how nuts life is for the past three four pages, and need to go back and read them again I ve read this now twice in a year, and know I ll read it again Flawless Maybe I should give the stories another go another time, without planning on reading the novella.Read this now


  2. Daniel Daniel says:

    CIRCA 2002Publisher A Hey, Jane Smiley wrote a great novella, let s get it out there.Publisher B But wait, we can t, like, put out a 90 page story as is we need to putstuff in between the covers so we can slap a 14 price tag on the whole enchilada.Publisher A Let me dig up some short stories she put out, make an anthology.Publisher B That s the ticket.THE PRESENTAuthor I have a great novella that I want people to readAuthor I know, I ll put it out as an eBook, charge a couple CIRCA 2002Publisher A Hey, Jane Smiley wrote a great novella, let s get it out there.Publisher B But wait, we can t, like, put out a 90 page story as is we need to putstuff in between the covers so we can slap a 14 price tag on the whole enchilada.Publisher A Let me dig up some short stories she put out, make an anthology.Publisher B That s the ticket.THE PRESENTAuthor I have a great novella that I want people to readAuthor I know, I ll put it out as an eBook, charge a couple of bucks, and presto whammo people can read it and enjoy it for its own merits A 2002 PUBLICATION CIRCA NOW The Age of Grief is a well written novella about a married couple going through a tough time No easy answers are offered, and the behaviors of the husband and wife are not always rational or helpful to the situation I was greatly impressed by Smiley s depiction of a conflict that fucks up that rational, workaday routine that previously acted as the bedrock of a marriage.The short stories, unfortunately, did little for me


  3. Mindy Mindy says:

    This series of short stories and the novella for which the collection is named showed a level of mastery and sensitivity to the day to day, and to the disparity that lies between how things seem and how they are Smiley s prose is suited to this kind of study over, her perspective is so sensitive and interesting I loved the novella Life is messy, and we are so busy dealing with some details that it s easy to miss or mis handle others Highly, highly recommend this.


  4. Alena Guggemos Alena Guggemos says:

    There are some stories that resonate with such innate truth that they stay with you you recognize your own thoughts on the page and wonder at the writer who seems to intimately know you, even though you ve never met This is how I feel about Jane Smiley and The Age of Grief This is how I feel about this passageI am thirty five years old, and it seems to me that I have reached the age of grief Others arrive there sooner Almost no one arrives much later I don t think it is the years themse There are some stories that resonate with such innate truth that they stay with you you recognize your own thoughts on the page and wonder at the writer who seems to intimately know you, even though you ve never met This is how I feel about Jane Smiley and The Age of Grief This is how I feel about this passageI am thirty five years old, and it seems to me that I have reached the age of grief Others arrive there sooner Almost no one arrives much later I don t think it is the years themselves, or the disintegration of the body Most of our bodies are better taken care of and better looking than ever What it is, is what we know, now that in spite of ourselves we have stopped to think about it It is not only that we know that love ends, children are stolen, parents die feeling that their lives have been meaningless It is not only that, by this time, a lot of acquaintances and friends have died and all the others are getting ready to sooner or later It isthat the barriers between the circumstances of oneself and the rest of the world have broken down, after all after all that schooling, all that care Lord, if it be thy will, let this cup pass from me But when you are thirty three, or thirty five, the cup must come around, cannot pass from you, and it is the same cup of pain that every mortal drinks from Some books are read for entertainment and some are read because they provide a source of personal reflection The Age of Grief is well written and structurally perfect butthan that it is a collection of short stories which captures a moment in our adult lives that moment when one realizes that innocence is not only gone, but no longer needed, and that Grief is not simply a bad feeling but a state of grace


  5. Paula Dembeck Paula Dembeck says:

    For those who follow my posts it is not a secret that I struggle with short stories and sometimes even novellas I have rarely found them satisfying, feeling either like I have been left hanging at the end or simply wantingafter investing my attention in an interesting group of characters But my strategy of just keeping at it, knowing the fault is with me rather than the genre, seems to be working Either I am choosing authors who have mastered this type of writing or I have finally learn For those who follow my posts it is not a secret that I struggle with short stories and sometimes even novellas I have rarely found them satisfying, feeling either like I have been left hanging at the end or simply wantingafter investing my attention in an interesting group of characters But my strategy of just keeping at it, knowing the fault is with me rather than the genre, seems to be working Either I am choosing authors who have mastered this type of writing or I have finally learned to appreciate this form of literary work Who knows But I have always appreciated Jane Smiley s work and I enjoyed this selection of five short stories and a novella.All the stories swirl around the central theme of the age of grief , that period in middle age when a life which had previously seemed full of interesting possibilities abruptly shifts and things seem to begin a downhill slide The stories in this collection also share the same overall context, hovering over and around issues of marriage or family In The Pleasure of her Company , Florence meets and befriends the people that have just moved in next door Franny and Phillip are a happily married couple and Florence enjoys their company, often over visiting and relishing in this newfound relationship Florence and Franny have long chats and share a lot of time together in this newly established comfortable and pleasing friendship Florence who is single, has always found marriage a mystery and wants to know the details of their lives Franny however, talks little about her relationship with Phillip and spends most of her time with Florence listening to her talk about whatever is on her mind, including her latest romance with Bryan Florence has come to treasure this new friendship and the many hours she spends in her neighbour s house and is shocked one day when Franny announces that she and her husband are splitting up Franny quickly moves to a small apartment and establishes a new and close friendship with a fellow student at the art school where she has enrolled in classes Meanwhile Phillip is busy next door on a whirlwind of remodeling their former home When Franny talks with him he reveals to her the true nature of what she had previously believed was a reciprocal relationship He confirms that indeed it was, that he and Franny needed someone to talk to about unimportant things It was the way they avoided talking about things that mattered Florence is bereft and learns a valuable lesson That a friendship that is so cherished by one person can also be carelessly exploited by the other In Lily , a beautiful poet, hungry for a loving relationship, lives in a pristinely organized apartment and awaits the arrival of Kevin and Nancy, a married couple Lily has not seen these friends for over two years and looks forward to their visit, wondering how much they have changed She is envious of their life which has an attractive complexity to it But it is not long before the couple is feuding, with resentments and suspicions hurled at one another Lily pulled into the arguments, soon hastens the breakup of their marriage In Jeffrey, Believe Me the narrative follows the monologue of a female seductress as she, anxious to have a child, works earnestly to seduce her handsome gay friend Her biological clock is ticking, time is short and he is an excellent prospective partner from the gene pool But her plan slides sideways, falling to the exact spot where both she and the reader could have predicted it was destined to land In Long Distance Kirby, preparing to travel to his family s Thanksgiving dinner, receives a call from his long distance lover Mieko in Japan Mieko is sobbing She has just learned her father has lung cancer, so she must stay with him and cannot join Kirby and his family for the holiday Kirby instinctively knows this means she will never come to America and their relationship is over As he travels the highways on dangerous roads through stormy weather to meet his brothers, their wives and children, he realizes he has reached the stage in his life where the future no longer contains endless possibilities His life has settled now, and is what it will probably be in the future In Dynamite , readers meet a young woman whose past includes political activities that have forced her underground She was a maker of bombs, and made many, so manythan those the FBI has discovered She now works as an engineer at a fertilizer plant but never forgets her dangerous exciting past, quietly remembering the tactile details of making bombs which are seared into memory and cued by events from her present life The penny wrappers from the bank reminds her of the color of dynamite paper, her grip on the rod from a clothes closet feels similar to the density of dynamite and then of course, there is the ticking of clocks She has quit the radical group she worked for and longs to visit her eccentric mother But she may not be able to do so without being caught Should she chance it The final story is the novella and covers six weeks in the life of David and Dana Hurst and their three daughters They are both dentists who met in school and developed a joint practice when they graduated The narrator in this story is interestingly David, not usual for this tale of a potential breakup As Dana considers leaving the family for her lover, David who already suspects, does everything to avoid giving her the opportunity to tell him of her plans It s as if he believes that if they do not talk about it, it will not happen He is too fearful to talk about it and stays wrapped in a cocoon of denial Instead, he immerses himself in the lives of his three young daughters Lizzie, Stephanie and Leah He tends to their school and play activities, their daily rituals over meals, bath time and good night stories, all the while wondering how they will react when their mother leaves David aches over the knowledge that the woman he loves, cares for someone else The whole future he planned for seems to be slipping away and his emotions fluctuate between grief, bewilderment and rage And then he is abruptly forced to face mortality when one of his children becomes seriously ill, an event which diverts his attention from his inward longing to a muchcompelling concern Smiley s realistic rendition of Dave s inner dialogue helps to gain the reader s sympathy for his character and for the situation in which he finds himself His interactions with his children and his patients are realistic and well done Given this is a female author trying to see through the eyes of a husband and father and think through those same lenses, Smiley succeeds in a very credible way She gets the guy speak spot on She explores the inner makings of a marriage and captures the confusion, disillusionment, fear and sadness that comes when something carefully constructed over the years must weather a blow that delivers a tear in a carefully spun web of long held relationships But marriage is a dynamic, growing and moving thing, continually changing, evolving and moving to something different It shifts its shape in response to what is outside as well as those who inhabit it, as people and the world change, grow and evolve.Smiley presents very enjoyable and satisfying stories in this collection which do not disappoint For those like me who have shied away from short stories, this collection may help bring you to another different but potentially satisfying literary format


  6. Amy Amy says:

    The word that comes to mind when I think about Jane Smiley s writing is deft I hadn t read anything by her for years, not since returning to her for The All True TravelsLidie Newton, which I didn t warm to But this book, this novella and a handful of stories, caught me and held me throughout I found myself rereading whole pages after any interruption to ensure that no nuance escaped me, no phrase, both for beauty of composition and meaning.A book about people navigating the everyday, the The word that comes to mind when I think about Jane Smiley s writing is deft I hadn t read anything by her for years, not since returning to her for The All True TravelsLidie Newton, which I didn t warm to But this book, this novella and a handful of stories, caught me and held me throughout I found myself rereading whole pages after any interruption to ensure that no nuance escaped me, no phrase, both for beauty of composition and meaning.A book about people navigating the everyday, the earthquakes that rend lives through the repetitive and necessary tasks that define them, no less devastating for being common The novella The Age of Grief will stay with me a long time, and I anticipate rereading at some future time In it, a man in a traditional marriage and profession watches his beloved wife as she finds love and passion with another He never directly witnesses her infidelity, in fact he actively avoids confronting her, but its evidence is unmistakeable in his wife s behavior and aspect The daily demands of careers and small children that serve to contain the emotional turbulence that affects them both There is something I have noticed about desire, that it opens the eyes and strikes them blind at the same time I immediately sought out a list of her books only to find out I ve read most of those intended for adults already For pure pleasure, I wish Smiley wasprolific, but I will shortly find and read those books I ve missed so far


  7. Lisa Lisa says:

    A decent selection of short stories and a solid novella Long Distance is a story of a man readying the holidays with his Japanese girlfriend who at the last minute can t fly to meet him and he sets off on his own to see family He manages to get to his brother s place after a rough drive in wintry weather He doesn t talk about the girlfriend to his family and he seems to have a fair amount of resentment to all of them, like he is only there because he has no better place to be He sleeps in li A decent selection of short stories and a solid novella Long Distance is a story of a man readying the holidays with his Japanese girlfriend who at the last minute can t fly to meet him and he sets off on his own to see family He manages to get to his brother s place after a rough drive in wintry weather He doesn t talk about the girlfriend to his family and he seems to have a fair amount of resentment to all of them, like he is only there because he has no better place to be He sleeps in like a teenager and can t even bear the thought of his brother s furniture The idea of spending five years, ten years, a lifetime, with such furniture made him gasp Though he lives in an apartment with almost no furniture he doesn t like his other brother, Eric s place either Everything,everything they own is either blue and white, or white with blue, and Nordic primitive The houseguest experience is not necessarily positive In the story Lily, also the name of the main character, her old friends, now married, come to visit It could be too much time has gone by to rekindle things or it could be that they envy each other s status, single or married Or it could be that Kevin and Nancy marriage is not in a good place Everything seems too forced and the tension is pretty thick Turns out Nancy was never liked by their group of college friends Meanwhile Kevin is pretty sure she is sleeping with someone else and thinks everything centers on his ability to remain in good shape.And they are messy and Lily isn t They both seem to want to have Lily get in the middle of things which of course leads to a disaster.The novella, The Age of Grief, has a marriage at its center, as well Dana and Dave met in dental school, share a dental practice and have 3 young daughters They deal with all their daily patients and their children s daycare, their individual needs They are having problems and the kids seem to sense itthan the parents I find it interesting in this novella that there isthan one scene that feels like a turning point At one point Dave lurks outside in the dark for hours basically to spite his wife and as his youngest daughter screams for him.The flu takes down the family almost in perfect sequence and the individuality of each person shows in how their symptoms play out and how they deal with it The ending is an interesting turn.The stories aged well from the 70s


  8. Nikki Morse Nikki Morse says:

    I spent most of this book saying I wasn t going to readJane Smiley they were ok, good even, but with so much good, modern fiction out there I wasn t sure she was compelling enough And then I really liked the title novella, enough to leave me open to


  9. Connie Connie says:

    A collection of short stories and a novella, some of which are better andmemorable than others My favorite was the short story Long Distance, probably because I found it very relatable Overall Not Jane Smiley s best work.


  10. Margaret M. Margaret M. says:

    I have always loved Jane Smiley I have not read everything she wrote, but her novel A Thousand Acres swept me away The title of this collection, the novella inside, was the best of the collection in my opinion, as each of the other stories left me feeling somewhat bereft, wanting to understand a bitof each story I could not connect to any of the characters However, the author s prose is outstanding, no matter that I did not enjoy each of the other stories If you ever read this author I have always loved Jane Smiley I have not read everything she wrote, but her novel A Thousand Acres swept me away The title of this collection, the novella inside, was the best of the collection in my opinion, as each of the other stories left me feeling somewhat bereft, wanting to understand a bitof each story I could not connect to any of the characters However, the author s prose is outstanding, no matter that I did not enjoy each of the other stories If you ever read this author at all, start with her Pulitzer Prize winning novel


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