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The Wife

A Novel

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Paperback published by Scribner (Scribner)

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About This Book
Meg Wolitzer brings her characteristic wit and intelligence to a provocative story about the evolution of a marriage, the nature of partnership, the question of a male or female sensibility, and the place for an ambitious woman in a man’s world.

The moment Joan Castleman decides to leave her husband, they are thirty-five thousand feet above the ocean on a flight to Helsinki. Joan’s husband, Joseph, is one of America’s preeminent novelists, about to receive a prestigious international award, and Joan, who has spent forty years subjugating her own literary talents to fan the flames of his career, has finally decided to stop. From this gripping opening, Meg Wolitzer flashes back to 1950s Smith College and Greenwich Village and follows the course of the marriage that has brought the couple to this breaking point—one that results in a shocking revelation.

With her skillful storytelling and pitch-perfect observations, Wolitzer has crafted a wise and candid look at the choices all men and women make—in marriage, work, and life.
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Meg Wolitzer brings her characteristic wit and intelligence to a provocative story about the evolution of a marriage, the nature of partnership, the question of a male or female sensibility, and the place for an ambitious woman in a man’s world.

The moment Joan Castleman decides to leave her husband, they are thirty-five thousand feet above the ocean on a flight to Helsinki. Joan’s husband, Joseph, is one of America’s preeminent novelists, about to receive a prestigious international award, and Joan, who has spent forty years subjugating her own literary talents to fan the flames of his career, has finally decided to stop. From this gripping opening, Meg Wolitzer flashes back to 1950s Smith College and Greenwich Village and follows the course of the marriage that has brought the couple to this breaking point—one that results in a shocking revelation.

With her skillful storytelling and pitch-perfect observations, Wolitzer has crafted a wise and candid look at the choices all men and women make—in marriage, work, and life.
Product Details
Paperback (224 pages)
Published: April 13, 2004
Publisher: Scribner
Imprint: Scribner
ISBN: 9780743456661
Other books byMeg Wolitzer
  • This Is My Life

    This Is My Life
    The early novel that established Meg Wolitzer’s career, later made into Nora Ephron’s first film as a director. The third book by New York Times-bestselling author Meg Wolitzer (originally published as This Is Your Life), a smart, witty and perceptive novel about the daughters of a female stand-up comic who watch as their mother struggles to balance her career with the needs of her children. Dottie Engels, comedienne extraordinaire, performs her act in Vegas and on late-night TV.  Her two daughters, Opal and Erica, live on the periphery of her glittering life, seeing her on the television screen more often than they do at home.  But when Dottie’s ratings begin to slide, it takes both her daughters to save Dottie from herself. Displaying Wolitzer’s signature style that combines keen observations, compassion for her characters, sharp humor, and a strong social hook, This Is My Life expertly captures the uncertainties of adolescence and the trials of growing up in the shadow of a mother who is caught between the conflicting pulls of fame and family.

    Sleepwalking

    Sleepwalking
    The debut novel from New York Times–bestselling author Meg Wolitzer, a story of three college students’ shared fascination with poetry and death, and how one of them must face difficult truths in order to leave her obsession behind. Published when she was only twenty-three and written while she was a student at Brown, Sleepwalking marks the beginning of Meg Wolitzer’s acclaimed career.  Filled with her usual wisdom, compassion and insight, Sleepwalking tells the story of the three notorious “death girls,” so called on the Swarthmore campus because they dress in black and are each absorbed in the work and suicide of a different poet: Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, and Wolitzer’s creation Lucy Asher, a gifted writer who drowned herself at twenty-four.  At night the death girls gather in a candlelit room to read their heroines’ work aloud. But an affair with Julian, an upperclassman, pushes sensitive , struggling Claire Danziger—she of the Lucy Asher obsession-–to consider to what degree her “death girl” identity is really who she is.  As she grapples with her feelings for Julian, her own understanding of herself and her past begins to shift uncomfortably and even disturbingly. Finally, Claire takes drastic measures to confront the facts about herself that she has been avoiding for years.

    The Uncoupling

    The Uncoupling
    A Novel
    From the New York Times bestselling author of The Ten- Year Nap--a funny, provocative novel about female desire. When the elliptical new drama teacher at Stellar Plains High School chooses Lysistrata as the school play-the comedy by Aristophanes in which women stop having sex with men in order to end a war-a strange spell seems to be cast over the school. Or, at least, over the women. One by one throughout the high school community, perfectly healthy, normal women and teenage girls turn away from their husbands and boyfriends in the bedroom, for reasons they don't really understand. As the women worry over their loss of passion and the men become by turns unhappy, offended, and above all, confused, both sides are forced to look at their shared history, and at their sexual selves in a new light. Meg Wolitzers's newest book, The Interestings, is now available from Riverhead Books.  

    The Ten-year Nap

    The Ten-year Nap
    For a group of four New York friends, the past decade has been largely defined by marriage and motherhood. Educated and reared to believe that they would conquer the world, they then left prestigious jobs to stay home with their babies. What was meant to be a temporary leave of absence has lasted a decade. Now, at age forty, with the halcyon days of young motherhood behind them and without professions to define them, Amy, Jill, Roberta, and Karen face a life that is not what they were brought up to expect but seems to be the one they have chosen. But when Amy meets someone who seems to have fulfilled the classic women's dream of having it all--work, love, family--without having to give anything up, a lifetime's worth of concerns, both practical and existential, opens up. As her obsession with this woman's bustling life grows, it forces the four friends to confront the choices they've made--until a series of startling events shatters the peace and, for some of them, changes the landscape entirely.

Favorite QuotesFROM THIS BOOK
  • The moment I decided to leave him, the moment I thought, enough, were thirty-five thousand feet above the ocean, hurtling forward but giving the illusions of stillness and tranquility....

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  • As a rule, the men who own the world are hyperactively sexual, though not necessarily with their wives.

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  • All first wives are crazy-- violently and eye-rollingly so

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  • Everyone knows how women soldier on, how women dream up blueprints, recipes, ideas for a better world, and then sometimes lose them on the way to the crib in the middle of the night, on...

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  • As a rule, the men who own the world are hyperactively sexual, though not necessarily with their wives."

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  • 'Ah, a Sarah Lawrence girl,' he said with pleasure, deciding at that moment she was a highly creative type, her hands damp with both acrylic paint from art class and ambrosia from some...

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  • New York City was a spectacular place in which to take a walk in the middle of the night if you were a young, ambitious, confident man.

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  • Of course she ached to be a writer. Like so many women, she burned for it, all she wanted to do was to publish, and her whole life was leading toward the moment when she found an agent...

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