All Good Women

All Good Women

by Valerie Miner
     
 

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As World War II rages abroad, a group of women forge the bonds of sisterhood in America

In 1938, while tensions in Europe are reaching a boiling point, four young women with big ambitions enter secretarial school in San Francisco. Motivated to attain the financial stability that eluded their parents, they go to battle for their futures. Moira, of

Overview


As World War II rages abroad, a group of women forge the bonds of sisterhood in America

In 1938, while tensions in Europe are reaching a boiling point, four young women with big ambitions enter secretarial school in San Francisco. Motivated to attain the financial stability that eluded their parents, they go to battle for their futures. Moira, of Scottish descent, dreams of being an actress. Ann yearns for the education her Jewish immigrant parents provided for her brother, but not for her. Japanese American Wanda experiences firsthand the racial injustices running rampant in the United States. And Teddy, who left the Dust Bowl for sunny California, comes to startling realizations about herself as the war progresses. These women will be both buoyed and challenged by their dreams, experiencing love, loss, and everything in between. Against the backdrop of a nation gripped by fear and paranoia, Miner eloquently captures the spirit of wartime on the home front.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
On the eve of World War II, four young women, students at a San Francisco secretarial school, become housemates. They are linked by working-class backgrounds, which have given them the desire for financial stability and independence. Moira, the most conventionally pretty, dreams of becoming an actress. Teddy, an Oklahoma native, wants to help her migrant family. The daughter of Jewish immigrants, Ann yearns for the college education her parents have decided to give her brother. As a Japanese-American, aspiring writer Wanda is the most directly and immediately affected by the war when she is interned in a desert resettlement camp. The story follows the four through war work, affairs, pregnancies and deaths. Though readers may sometimes feel that the women's consistently placid natures do not ring true, Miner (Winter's Edge) has done a splendid job of recreating the fear and paranoia of the war years. This is ultimately a satisfying book. (October 12)
From the Publisher

“With laudable perceptiveness, Miner probes issues that are as relevant today as they were forty years ago: the rampant bigotry that deprives Wanda of her father and her liberty; Moira’s uncertain sexual orientation; Ann’s wariness of commitment; and Teddy’s adjustment to her own homosexuality. The novel’s rewarding conclusion also has contemporary overtones, for the women’s hard-won ‘shared sense of potential’ finally guides them safely beyond ‘anguish and loss’ to equanimity.”?—Los Angeles Times

“An extraordinary tale of women in wartime. Most novels set in the ’40s are about men fighting World War II. This one is unique in that the protagonists are four young women.” —San Jose Mercury News

“On the huge canvas of World War II we follow the lives and friendships of four women. We follow with passionate interest these interrelated but widely different stories, and as the four women grow, we grow with them. A complex, nourishing work of art.” —May Sarton

“An exceptionally good novel that realistically depicts the personal trauma faced by four young, working-class women at the outbreak of World War II.” —Booklist

“Finally, a World War II novel written from the perspective of women’s lives—and not Hollywood starlets waiting for Johnny to come marching home. All Good Women gives us a broader understanding of an era as well as a deeper awareness of the significance of social forces in our own lives.” —The Seattle Times

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780895942500
Publisher:
Crossing Press, Inc., The
Publication date:
09/01/1987
Pages:
376

Meet the Author


Valerie Miner is the award-winning author of fourteen books, including novels, short fiction collections, and nonfiction. Miner’s work has appeared in the Georgia Review, TriQuarterly, Salmagundi, New Letters, Ploughshares, the Village Voice, Prairie Schooner, the Gettysburg Review, the Times Literary Supplement, the Women’s Review of Books, the Nation, and other journals. Her stories and essays have been published in more than sixty anthologies. A number of her pieces have been dramatized on BBC Radio 4. Her work has been translated into German, Turkish, Danish, Italian, Spanish, French, Swedish, and Dutch. She has won fellowships and awards from the Rockefeller Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Jerome Foundation, the Heinz Foundation, the Bogliasco Foundation, Fundación Valparaiso, the Australia Council Literary Arts Board, and numerous other organizations. She has received Fulbright fellowships to Tunisia, India, and Indonesia. Winner of a Distinguished Teaching Award, she has taught for over twenty-five years and is now a professor and artist in residence at Stanford University. She travels internationally giving readings, lectures, and workshops. Her website is www.valerieminer.com.

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