The Stories of Alice Adams

The Stories of Alice Adams

Alice Adams

Contemporary / Fiction / Humor and Comedy

"Alice Adams has an inimitable 'voice'--quick, deft, brilliantly evocative and specific. There is always something special about a story of hers, like a watercolor perfectly executed." --Joyce Carol Oates Award-winning writer Alice Adams, whose major themes were the varied lives of contemporary women and the hidden workings of human relationships is equally treasured for her short stories and her novels. The stories collected here represent the full range of her career, which included 25 appearances in The New Yorker, 6 O.Henry First Prizes out of a total of 23 appearances, as well as inclusion in numerous Best American Short Stories anthologies. In story after story insight joins with grace to show us the truth about the lives of people around us. Included: "Verlie I Say Unto You," "Beautiful Girl," "The Swastika on the Door," "Greyhound People," "The Girl Across the Room," Truth or Consequences," "Separate Planes," ...
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Roses, Rhododendron

Roses, Rhododendron

Alice Adams

Contemporary / Fiction / Humor and Comedy

Famous for illuminating the hidden workings of human relationships, Alice Adams's short stories appeared dozens of times in The New Yorker and was a mainstay of the O. Henry Award collections. From her capstone collection The Stories of Alice Adams, "Roses, Rhododendron" chronicles the power of a lifelong friendship. When a young Jane Kilgore moves to North Carolina with her superstitious mother, she meets Harriet Farr and finds comfort and stability amongst her family. As Jane's life takes her away from the South, she learns that her relationship with the Farrs shaped her childhood and life thereafter.
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Listening to Billie

Listening to Billie

Alice Adams

Contemporary / Fiction / Humor and Comedy

“She commands her material so well that we are made to believe that her fiction—her plot—is no stranger than our lives.”  --Ms. Magazine Listening to Billie is a brilliant portrait of a contemporary woman adventurously, decisively embarked on her own life.We first glimpse Eliza Hamilton Quarles as a blonde boarding-school student, sitting in a sophisticated New York club, listening to Billie Holiday. She is on the brink of her marriage to her older, worldly date. Twenty years later, a mother, divorced, she, tentatively begins a new life, with new lovers, new interests, new strength, even a new, more comfortable identity.
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Medicine Men

Medicine Men

Alice Adams

Contemporary / Fiction / Humor and Comedy

“A painful and hilarious send-up of grandiose doctors and their barbaric medical miracles. . . . A postmodern Jane Austen romp.” – The Boston GlobeIn a novel that brilliantly conjures up the resilience of the human spirit, Alice Adams draws a clear-eyed portrait of a woman who must overcome her resistance to the help offered by others.Molly Brenner suffers from guilt and headaches. The guilt arrives with the insurance money she receives after the accidental death of her second husband (she was on the verge of separating). And the headaches she at first thinks are just a neurotic manifestation, but when she is diagnosed with a malignancy, she finds herself  once again depending on a man, this time from a profession she loathes, the medical profession.  Amazon.com ReviewMolly Bonner has a problem. Horrible, debilitating headaches have sent her tumbling down a medical rabbit hole into a nightmarish world of hospitals, tests, and-- worst of all--unfeeling male doctors who all suffer in varying degrees from the delusion that they are God. Her specialist, her surgeon, her best friend's lover, and even her own boyfriend are cut from this same arrogant cloth. This raises the question early in Alice Adams's novel Medicine Men, why doesn't Molly just find a woman doctor and a new beau? In Medicine Men Alice Adams explores many issues surrounding the doctor- patient relationship: the dismissive condescension doctors often display toward patients, the unquestioning acceptance of authority patients often grant their doctors. When the patient is a woman and the doctor a man, there's an added patina of expectation on both sides--that the woman be docile, a "good patient," the man all-knowing, capable of solving all problems. These are fascinating subjects, but in making almost all the doctors male and unbearable and all the women passive and victimized, Adams is skating dangerously close to charicature rather than character. From Library JournalIn Adams's breezily written tenth novel, Molly Bonner is having some trouble: her marriage to a stiff, alcoholic New England lawyer has failed; her second husband has just died, leaving her filthy rich with insurance money but terribly guilty because they were about to separate anyway; and the nose bleeds she's been having turn out to result from a golf ball-sized tumor demanding immediate surgery. What's worse, Molly has too many rapacious, self-absorbed "medicine men" in her life, from Dave Jacobs, the domineering creep with whom her friend Felicia has set her up, to Felicia's own married paramour, the oh-so-smug Dr. Raleigh Sanderson. What could have been a nice comedy of manners fall terribly, terribly flat. Even those with grave doubts about doctors will be offended by their depiction here as hopelessly shallow and sleazy, and some readers may find Molly a little shallow herself. With all the slick mating and remating going on, very little time is spent on the consequences for Molly of a possibly fatal disease. Buy where Adams is popular.?Barbara Hoffert, "Library Journal"Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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The Last Lovely City

The Last Lovely City

Alice Adams

Contemporary / Fiction / Humor and Comedy

A superb new collection from the greatly admired storyteller whose work "recall[s] such past masters as Flannery O'Connor and Katherine Mansfield" (Jim Baker,Newsweek). The Last Lovely City begins with nine stories whose settings range from San Francisco to a North Carolina college town to a run-down Mexican resort. In "His Women," a college professor and his ex-wife play an extended game of let's-kiss-and-make-up, revealing the history of their flirtations and infidelities. In "The Islands," a young widow mourns the loss of her cat more profoundly than the recent death of her husband. And in the title story, a view of San Francisco from the beach brings an old doctor, known for his generosity, to the sudden realization that the glory, innocence, and passion the city once represented to him are now lost forever, as he faces up to the way he has accrued the money to support his good works. The four stories in part two take on the shape of a novel. Lila Lewisohn, a divorced psychiatrist, finds her private life beginning to fuse with the lives of her patients, their husbands, and their lovers. A brilliant collection that envelops us in the richness of the worlds that Alice Adams has so masterfully created.
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The Stories of Alice Adams (v5)

The Stories of Alice Adams (v5)

Alice Adams

Contemporary / Fiction / Humor and Comedy

The late, great Alice Adams mastered the art of the short story. In the posthumous collection The Stories of Alice Adams, Adams masters something more significant in the genre--the backstory, the carefully realized context in which a story is able to unfold. In the 53 stories collected here, Adams moves effortlessly between the current thread of the situation and the past circumstances that allow it to happen in the first place. Nearly all of her carefully drawn characters look back at their lives, or at someone else's life, as if to reconstruct what makes a particular person unique. A group of friends awaits a newly widowed husband in "Waiting for Stella," and in their suppositions about his grief and tardiness, the dead woman comes back to life as a prominent character. Adams weaves youth, age, past, and present together seamlessly; she darts in and out of people's heads in a restaurant, as in "At the Beach," so that they wonder about each other thoroughly but never interact. In this stellar compilation, Adams revels in the glories and oddities of the human condition and distills the very essence of how we live. --Emily Russin
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Families and Survivors

Families and Survivors

Alice Adams

Contemporary / Fiction / Humor and Comedy

Product Description“A you-can’t-put-it-down book. . . . Alice Adams has found a new way to tell the great American dynasty stories we all love.”  --The Washington Post Alice Adams’ second novel is the portrait of a Southern-born woman as she reviews her life.From Louisa Calloway’s Southern girlhood to her debut to her first marriage, all the time surrounded by a certain tradition and all the time resisting. In lieu of her conservative, bigoted father, she chooses men who are liberal, free-spoken, Jewish. Nevertheless her first marriage is unhappy, but her second promises to be sounder, as she discovers what she really wants, can have, can become—what she really is. 
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Superior Women

Superior Women

Alice Adams

Contemporary / Fiction / Humor and Comedy

"A remarkable compression of time, memory, and sentiment -- rather as if Hemingway had been turned loose on Proust . . ." San Francisco Chronicle By the New York Times Bestselling author of "Almost Perfect" and "Careless Love," a brilliant novel tracing the tangled, heart-warming and heartbreaking relationships of a group of intelligent and attractive young women as they grow to maturity over the course of four explosive decades in American life -- from the forties to the eighties. Sharing tears and laughter . . . and, sometimes, men, the women learn what they can really count on -- themselves and each other. "These women, at the same time friends and enemies, touch each other's lives in ways no one else can -- not even lovers or husbands. . . Alice Adams must be one of her own superior women." United Press International
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Return Trips

Return Trips

Alice Adams

Contemporary / Fiction / Humor and Comedy

“Alice Adams writes with beautiful economy, an infallible sense of the telling detail.  Her place in the company of John Updike and Mary McCarthy.”  --San Francisco Chronicle Alice Adams’ reputation as a short story writer continued to grow with each collection. The stories in her third collection revolve for the most part around the theme of travel.The stories are about people in search of fresh experience, the inspiration of art, the pleasure of new relationships . . . people opening up to the accidental magic of a foreign place, or returning to scenes of childhood to forgive the past.Included are “Alaska,”  “Time in Santa Fe,”  “Barcelona, “ “Molly’s Dog,”  “My First and Only House.”
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After the War

After the War

Alice Adams

Contemporary / Fiction / Humor and Comedy

Alice Adams is considered to be one of the major American writers of the last thirty years. Her stories appeared in The New Yorker from 1969 and 1995, as well as in twenty-two O. Henry Awards collections and several volumes of Best American Short Stories. After the War is her eleventh and final novel--the brilliant coda to a brilliant career. After the War begins where her acclaimed novel A Southern Exposure ended: in the small Southern town of Pinehill during World War II. With all the insight and grace that have marked her writing, she brings us close to Cynthia and Harry Baird, transplanted Yankees who moved south from Connecticut during the Depression to find a simpler world for themselves and their daughter, Abigail. But life in Pinehill has become more difficult since the beginning of the war: with Harry off in London to do his share, Cynthia finds her life complicated not only by her own loneliness but also by a growing awareness of local racism and anti-Semitism, and by the rising national dread of Communism. And as Abigail heads off to college, where she faces all the traditional complications of youth, we are drawn into an America caught between past and future, and two generations forced to determine what they cherish and what they must leave behind. Alice Adams's depiction of her native South--full, rich, affectionate, and always one of her many strengths--is at its most subtle and engrossing in After the War.Amazon.com ReviewIn the South, or at least in Pinehill, North Carolina, the setting of Alice Adams's After the War, "before the war" means before the Civil War. But in this sequel to A Southern Exposure (which introduced the displaced Yankee Baird family, their Pinehill neighbors, and their kaleidoscopic liaisons, and which ended as World War II began), after the war refers to a more modern era: after the bomb, after the various men have come home, when everyone supposes life will begin again as they once knew it. An autumnal, nostalgic quality pervades Adams's posthumously published 11th novel, partly because Cynthia Baird is a little older (her daughter has left for college and her husband is a naval officer in England where bombs drop and ladies with "rose petal skin" who are "good at riding and gardening, cooking roast beef and puddings" threaten danger of another sort) and partly because from our perspective at the beginning of the 21st century we well know that life never will be the same.With her delicate, breathy, gossipy prose, Adams slips among her characters like a hostess at a party. Soon the bits and pieces, confidences and asides, fit together into a mosaic of personalities and events that illuminate the coming political and social upheavals of the late '40s. At Swarthmore, ardent, open-minded Abby Baird falls in love with a Jewish physics major with Communist parents. Melanctha Byrd, traumatized by her body image, drops out of Harvard where her brother discovers he's gay. Out in Texas the poet Russ Byrd, who's contemplating writing a play featuring the secret laboratory at Los Alamos, meets an untimely end in the company of a decommissioned black sergeant, raising suspicions of foul play. Meanwhile, back in Pinehill, "people were more aware of the state of Cynthia's lawn and her flowers, of their own lawns and flowers, than of the terrible but distant war." Cynthia cultivates her garden, spars with poor, silly Dolly Bigelow, and carries on a desultory love affair with a war correspondent, until he replaces her with someone else. Pinehill is, after all, a small and complicated Southern town.With the precise ear and acute observation of a modern Jane Austen, Alice Adams weaves an artful portrait of a town and a time, bittersweet for one generation, perilous and full of potential for the next. Like its predecessor, After the War is a gentle, generous, and enlightening comedy of manners. --Victoria JenkinsFrom Publishers WeeklyReading this posthumous novel is a bittersweet experience. On the one hand, it's wonderful to be back in the Southern town of Pinehill, and to enjoy Adams's inimitable prose and her calm intimacy with the characters introduced in A Southern Exposure. On the other, it's a pity to realize that we'll never know what future lives Adams had planned for these vibrant individuals. WWII is raging as the novel opens in 1944; Yankee transplant Cynthia Baird is now "an actively unfaithful naval wife." Her husband, Harry, is stationed in London, and famed war correspondent Derek McFall is filling his bedDuntil Derek's roving eye takes him to another boudoir. The Bairds' daughter, Abigail, is off to Swarthmore, and her friend Melanctha Byrd will go to Radcliffe. Famous romantic poet Russ Byrd, Melanctha's father and once Cynthia's lover, is now married to luscious Deirdre, who will soon be on the loose to search for another partner. Implacably dignified Odessa, the black housekeeper, is worried about her husband, Horace, on duty in the Pacific. The usual large cast is augmented by the introduction of a New York Jewish couple with Hollywood ties, active members of the Communist Party, and their college-age children. Everybody is still lusting, drinking, filled with inchoate longings and awash with memories of past liaisonsDbut some are becoming aware of new social stresses: changing race relations, a freer sexual climate, the threat of communism. Adams's deep acquaintance with her milieuDSouthern speech, cultural assumptions, casual bigotry and lush landscapeDshines clear in events, dialogue and descriptive passages of almost palpable sensation. Her acuity with period details allows a smooth reference to the atomic bomb and the musical Oklahoma in the same sentence. There are innumerable funny scenes, two deaths, several fraying marriages and a few young romances, one of which culminates in a wedding. Adams knew the hard truths of human life: that people (especially those in the sway of sexual passion) often behave badly, but generally have good intentions; that hardship often prompts compassion in the most unlikely hearts; and that our time on life's stage is brief. Unfortunately, hers was too brief by far. (Sept.) FYI: Adams died in 1997. Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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