When We Argued All Night

When We Argued All Night

Alice Mattison

Literature & Fiction

Two young men are swimming naked in an Adirondack lake when they hear a motor, a car appears, and two women get out, one with an orange scarf around her head. It's 1936: New York is suffering through the Great Depression, frightening things are happening in Europe, and Artie Saltzman and Harold Abramovitz, friends since their Brooklyn childhood, are unsure about everything—jobs, lefty politics, women. After this time in the mountains, nothing will be quite the same. From World War II to the McCarthy-era witch hunts, through work, marriages, and life with children, Artie and Harold turn to each other, whether for solace or another good argument. And when Artie's daughter Brenda comes of age during the 1960s, her struggles with jobs, love, and friendship in yet another period of political turmoil recall Artie and Harold's youth. A sweeping yet intimate novel about people who never stop loving one another despite everything life throws at them, When We Argued All Night illuminates a friendship over more than sixty-five years, as the twentieth century gives way to the changed yet recognizable times in which we live. Review“WHEN WE ARGUED ALL NIGHT provides a surprisingly intimate look at a lifelong friendship.” (Shelf Awareness ) About the AuthorAlice Mattison is the award-winning author of four story collections and five novels, including Nothing Is Quite Forgotten in Brooklyn. She teaches fiction in the graduate writing program at Bennington College in Vermont and lives in New Haven, Connecticut.
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Men Giving Money, Women Yelling

Men Giving Money, Women Yelling

Alice Mattison

Literature & Fiction

Men Giving Money, Women Yelling is Alice Mattisons latest collection in which the characters lives are told in tales that overlap or echo one another. At the center of the stories is Denny Ring, a young man nobody quite knows. Other characters include John Corey, a contractor who renovates old houses in New Haven, Connecticut; his younger brother Eugene, a volunteer at a soup kitchen; and his older brother Cameron, who is a lawyer specializing in obnoxious law. Johns assistant, Tom, is in love with his former English teacher, Ida Feldman, and Charlotte LoPresti, a social worker who interviews the Corey brothers and their aged father, is friends with Pam Shepherd, a social worker whos in charge of the house for psychiatric patients that John and Tom are renovating.**
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Wedding of the Two-Headed Woman

Wedding of the Two-Headed Woman

Alice Mattison

Literature & Fiction

Alice Mattison's last novel, New York Times Notable Book The Book Borrower, was called "extraordinary" (Washington Post Book World) and "ambitious and original" (Wall Street Journal), and was lauded for capturing in "deceptively quiet prose ... the fraught, complex relations of men and women" (New York Times Book Review). Now Mattison revisits Daisy Andalusia, a character from her critically acclaimed collection of stories, Men Giving Money, Women Yelling, in a simmering, intelligent novel of love, marriage, and friendship set in a New England city that's sometimes charming, sometimes dangerous. Following an early first marriage, Daisy Andalusia remained single and enjoyed the company of men on her own terms, making the most of her independent life -- especially her sexual freedom. But now, in her fifties, she is no longer unattached; after a long on-again off-again love affair, she has married inner-city landlord Pekko Roberts. A resident of New Haven, Connecticut, Daisy earns her living organizing clutter, a calling that affords her an intimate peek at the disorder of the lives of others. Her business soon leads her to a Yale project studying small cities, where she partners with the ebullient director, Gordon Skeetling. Over her husband's fierce objections -- and working with Gordon, with whom life becomes ever more complicated -- Daisy organizes a conference about murder in small cities, including New Haven. And for a community theater group seeking a subject for a play, Daisy appropriates a tabloid headline that Gordon has kept for years among the dusty piles in his office: two-headed woman weds two men: doc says she's twins. These words will take on increasing significance over eight transformative months, March through October, 2001, as Daisy questions whether she can truly be a part of anything -- a two-headed woman, a friendship, a marriage -- while discovering more about herself than she wants to know. Profoundly moving and psychologically penetrating, The Wedding of the Two-Headed Woman is the intimate, endearing, and finally triumphant story of how Daisy at last learns to live the life she has so lovingly crafted for herself.
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The Book Borrower

The Book Borrower

Alice Mattison

Literature & Fiction

On the first page of "The Book Borrower," Toby Ruben and Deborah Laidlaw meet in 1975 in a New York City playground, where the two women are looking after their babies. Deborah lends Toby a book, "Trolley Girl, "--a memoir about a long ago trolley strike and three Jewish sisters, one a fiery revolutionary--that will disappear and reappear throughout the twenty-two years these women are friends.Through two decades Deborah and Toby raise their children, embark on teaching careers, and argue about politics, education, and their own lives. One day during a hike, they have an argument that cannot be resolved--and the two women take different, permanent paths--but it is ultimately the borrowed book that will bring them back together. With sensitivity and grace, Alice Mattison shows how books can rescue us from our deepest sorrows; how the events of the outside world play into our private lives; and how the bonds between women are enduring, mysterious, and laced with surprise.
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Hilda and Pearl

Hilda and Pearl

Alice Mattison

Literature & Fiction

To Frances, an only child living in McCarthy-era Brooklyn, her mother, Hilda, and her aunt Pearl seem as if they have always been friends. Frances does not question the love between the two women until her father's job as a teacher is threatened by anti-Communism, just as Frances begins to learn about her family's past. Why does Hilda refer to her "first pregnancy," as if Frances wasn't her only child? Whose baby shoes are hidden in Hilda's dresser drawer? Why is there tension when Pearl and her husband come to visit?The story of a young girl in the fifties and her elders' coming-of-age in the unquiet thirties, this book resonates deeply, revealing in beautiful, clear language the complexities of friendship and loss.
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In Case We're Separated

In Case We're Separated

Alice Mattison

Literature & Fiction

Spanning the length and breadth of the twentieth century, Alice Mattison's masterful In Case We're Separated looks at a family of Jewish immigrants in the 1920s and 1930s and follows the urban, emotionally turbulent lives of their children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren against a backdrop of political assassination, the Vietnam War, and the AIDS epidemic. Beginning with the title story, which introduces Bobbie Kaplowitz—a single mother in 1954 Brooklyn whose lover is married and whose understanding of life is changed by a broken kitchen appliance—Mattison displays her unparalleled gift for storytelling and for creating rich, multidimensional characters, a gift that has led the Los Angeles Times to praise her as "a writer's writer."
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Nothing Is Quite Forgotten in Brooklyn

Nothing Is Quite Forgotten in Brooklyn

Alice Mattison

Literature & Fiction

One quiet spring day in 1989, Constance Tepper arrives from Philadelphia to watch over her mother's Brooklyn apartment and her orange cat. Con's mother, Gert, has left town to visit her old friend Marlene Silverman in Rochester. Marlene has always seemed alluring and powerful to Con, and ever since Con was a little girl, the long-standing bond between Gert and Marlene has piqued her curiosity. Now she finds herself wondering again what keeps them together. Con's week in Brooklyn will take a surprising turn when she wakes to find that someone has entered her mother's apartment and her own purse is missing. Stranded, with no money, she begins to phone family and friends. By the end of that week, she will experience a series of troubling discoveries about her marriage, her job, and her family's history, and much of her life will be changed forever. In the fall of 2003, now living in Brooklyn and working as a lawyer, Con has almost forgotten that strange and shattering week. But a series of unsettling reminders and surprising discoveries - including traces of a lost elevated train line through Brooklyn - will lead to grief, love, and more questions. At last, a confrontation between Marlene and Con's daughter will unravel some of the mysteries of the past.
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Conscience

Conscience

Alice Mattison

Literature & Fiction

Award-winning author Alice Mattison's new novel explores the hard choices a young woman and her friends made decades earlier at the height of the Vietnam War.Decades ago in Brooklyn, three girls demonstrated against the Vietnam War, and each followed a distinct path into adulthood. Helen became a violent revolutionary and was killed in a protest in 1970. Val wrote a controversial book, Bright Morning of Pain, which was essentially a novelization of Helen's all-too-short but vibrant life. And Olive became an editor and writer, now comfortably settled with her husband, Griff, in modern-day New Haven.When Olive is asked to write an essay about Val's book, a work that attracts and repulses her in equal measure, doing so brings back to the forefront Olive and Griff's tangled histories and their complicated reflections on that tumultuous time in their young lives. Things only become more fraught when Griff borrows Olive's treasured first edition of the...
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