by Jane Smiley
by Author Name Jane Smiley
- Book details for title
- List Price: €9.99
- Format: Paperback, 198 x 126 x 31mm, 496pp
- Publication date: 03 Mar 2011
- Publisher: Faber and Faber
- ISBN-13: 9780571258758
Margaret Mayfield is nearly an old maid at twenty-seven when she marries Captain Andrew Jackson Jefferson Early. He's the most famous man their Missouri town has ever produced: a naval officer and an astronomer - a genius who, according to the local paper, has changed the universe. Margaret's mother calls the match "a piece of luck". Yet Andrew confounds Margaret's expectations from the moment their train leaves for his naval base in San Francisco, and soon she realizes that his devotion to science leaves little room for anything, or anyone, else. She stands by him through tragedies both personal and those they share with the nation. But as World War II approaches, Andrew's obsessions take a darker turn, forcing Margaret to reconsider the life she'd so carefully constructed.
"Masterly. . . .[A] precise, compelling depiction of a singular woman." -"The New Yorker"
"Extraordinarily powerful. . . .It's not often that a work as exceptional as this comes along in contemporary American letters." -"Washington Post"
"Smiley's best novel yet. . . . [A] heartbreaking, bitter, and gorgeous story." -"The Atlantic Monthly"
"Remarkable. . . . With its quietly accruing power, "[Private Life" is] the kind of book that puts the lie to those who claim that great novelists produce their best work early and spend the rest of their lives gilding the lily." --"Chicago Tribune"
"Has a Jamesian twist of the unforeseen, but it's achieved with a sureness of hand that's all [Smiley's] own." --"The New York Times Book Review"
"Smiley's eye is keen, and the book's historical pageant is often mesmerizing and often elegantly composed. . . . A quiet tragedy." --"The Seattle Times"
""Private Life," perhaps Jane Smiley's best novel sin