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Dog
     

Dog

4.4 25
by Michelle Herman
 

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Single, childless, J.T. Rosen—a poet and college professor who has failed to live up to her early promise—has constructed a careful, orderly life around her work and the little house she has lived in alone for many years. Long ago, after a tumultuous youth filled with the “Sturm und Drang of boys and men,” she gave up on the possibility of

Overview

Single, childless, J.T. Rosen—a poet and college professor who has failed to live up to her early promise—has constructed a careful, orderly life around her work and the little house she has lived in alone for many years. Long ago, after a tumultuous youth filled with the “Sturm und Drang of boys and men,” she gave up on the possibility of love; she has begun by now, in the Middle Western town she cannot bring herself to think of as home, to give up on the possibility of friendship. When the dog enters her life, almost by accident he takes over her life, as puppies do. But as the days and weeks pass, the relationship that unfolds between dog and woman provides a glimpse for her of the possibilities that life still offers, of goodness that she begins to understand can be “counted on” in some inexplicable way.

Editorial Reviews

Bruce Weber
Herman, whose previous books include a novel, Missing, and a memoir about being a mother, The Middle of Everything, writes with great good humor about a puppy invasion on a lonely life.
— The New York Times
Library Journal
What if a person does good by accident? asks narrator Jill. Herman's (A New and Glorious Life) poet and college professor heroine leads a solitary life in a nondescript Midwestern city. Never mind a lover, she is so wary and distrustful of others that she doesn't pursue even casual friendships with her colleagues. When, on a whim, Jill adopts a beagle puppy whom she names Phil, her personal transformation begins. Jill and Phil take midnight walks when the streets are deserted. Slowly, as Jill grows accustomed to Phil, she confers significance onto the smallest details: the tilt of his head, the look in his eyes, the pitch of his barks, the tug on his leash. Jill realizes a sense of well-being, and ultimately the book is about the lessons Phil teaches Jill about unconditional love, acceptance, loyalty, trust, and companionship. This is a charming, feel-good short novel that borders on being a parable. At a very reasonable price, it is highly recommended for public and academic libraries.-Lisa Nussbaum, Dauphin Cty. Lib. Syst., Harrisburg, PA Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
A brief, winsome novella about an English professor at a midwestern college who gets a dog instead of a life. At almost forty-five, poet and academic Jill Rosen, after six years at her college tenured on the basis of "Great Promise," is not turning out very promising in a hurry. Originally from Queens, Jill has found a dog on a foster-care site on the Internet and ends up with a mutt that surprisingly is both intelligent and devoted to her-a dog, like her, "with dignity." Revealingly, she names it Phil, after the first names of authors whose books she keeps on her bedside table (Larkin, Roth, Lopate, Levine), though the name actually represents most memorably her first unpleasant boyfriend, Philip the first, a poet and Brooklyn College student she dated miserably for a year in New York. Yet neither Philip nor any of the other men she's dated has been good, Rosen offers with a tinge of self-pity ("Single-minded in their dedication to all-himness"), and though she drinks a bit too much wine at night before walking Phil and feels as warmly toward her students as if they were her own children, she comforts herself with the thought that she wouldn't be tempted to change lives with a single one of her friends or colleagues. In the end, this latest from academic Herman (Missing, 1990) adheres to a telling instead of showing: it's frustratingly interior, hermetically so, and feels interminable even though quite slim. The narrator's ruminations on colleagues and even her brother-a professor of linguistics who has a family and lived "in a more interesting city and earned more money than Jill did"-come off as mean-spirited and gossipy. The reader wishes in this rare instance that the lonely spinsterprofessor would meet someone-any human would do-but, no, the dog has taken over her life, and she's entirely happy about it. A dry, internal work about the underappreciated and underloved.
From the Publisher
"Phil the dog is one of the most admirable and engaging male characters you are likely to encounter between the pages of a book this year. His relations with the woman who has the good fortune to share his life are handled with exemplary insight, delicacy, and humor." - J.M. Coetzee

"Herman writes with great good humor about a puppy invasion on a lonely life." - New York Times Book Review

"Herman’s spare novella is a haiku of loneliness and human redemption." — Entertainment Weekly

"Told with humor, insight, and intelligence, this novel is as thought—provoking as it is charming." - Booklist

"Dog is a novel for any of us, of whatever age, who have taken a look at our lives and wondered how we became who we are." - Boston Globe

"A tender story about aging and loneliness, about how you need to trust your own crazy feelings, and about how dogs can teach you to feel again." - Between the Covers: The Book Babes' Guide to a Woman's Reading Pleasures

"Herman writes graciously about how we take other souls into our lives...She’s nimble, concise, and never mawkish." - The Bark Magazine

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781596921788
Publisher:
MacAdam/Cage Publishing, Incorporated
Publication date:
04/28/2006
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
188
Product dimensions:
4.90(w) x 6.90(h) x 0.60(d)

Meet the Author

Michelle Herman is the author of LIKE A SONG: ESSAYS (Outpost19, 2014) and STORIES WE TELL OURSELVES (longlisted for the 2014 PEN/Diamonstein-Spielvogel Award for the Art of the Essay). She is also the author of the novels DOG (Outpost19, 2016) and MISSING; the collection of novellas A NEW AND GLORIOUS LIFE; and the essay collection THE MIDDLE OF EVERYTHING; as well as a book for children, A GIRL'S GUIDE TO LIFE. Born and raised in Brooklyn, she has lived in Columbus, Ohio, for many years, where she directs the MFA Program in Creative Writing at Ohio State.

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Dog 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
LuckyDog13 More than 1 year ago
It is a quick read with lots of depth and emotion. It is a great book that I think many people can relate to. It strives help you understand why some people make the choice they do when thay have pets in their lives to consider.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love dogs. If you are a dog lover, Get this DOG
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Guest More than 1 year ago
If you're a middle-aged woman living alone, get this Dog. If you're a human who loves animals, get this Dog. If you're a middle-aged man who is lonely, get this Dog. If you ever wondered about that spinster poet living down the street, get this Dog. If you've ever had an affair with the author of this book and your name is Phil, get this Dog. If you've ever wanted a dog, get this Dog. If you've ever wondered how you got to be the way you are, get this Dog. If you love good books, get this Dog. Short & neat, it will tug at your heart. And sleeve. And soul.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
That is adorable
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
BEST BOOK EVER!!!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its a good book
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Its asum peeps
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love dogs
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Could I talk to you?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Dick
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