Object Lessons

Object Lessons

3.2 13
by Anna Quindlen
     
 

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A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR

"Elaborate and playful...Honest and deeply felt....Here is the Quindlen wit, the sharp eye for the details of class and manners, [and] the ardent reading of domestic lives."
-THE NEW YORK TIMES

It is the 1960s, in suburban New York City. Maggie and her family, are in the thrall of her powerful… See more details below

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Overview

A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK OF THE YEAR

"Elaborate and playful...Honest and deeply felt....Here is the Quindlen wit, the sharp eye for the details of class and manners, [and] the ardent reading of domestic lives."
-THE NEW YORK TIMES

It is the 1960s, in suburban New York City. Maggie and her family, are in the thrall of her powerful grandfather Jack Scanlan. In the summer of her twelfth year, Maggie is despertately trying to master the object lessons her grandfather fills her head with. But there is too much going on to concentrate. Everything at home is in upheaval, her grandfather is changing, and Maggie is unsure if what she wants is worth having....

Editorial Reviews

Washington Post Book World

Anna Quindlen's first novel is about an experience that is the same for everyone and different for us all: the time when we suddenly see our family with an outsider's eye and begin the separation that marks our growing up. . . . Quindlen knows that all the things we ever will be can be found in some forgotten fragment of family.

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In this absorbing coming-of-age novel, a Literary Guild selection in cloth that spent 10 weeks on PW's bestseller list, New York Times columnist Quindlen skillfully conveys the fierce ethnic pride of Irish and Italian communities. (May)
Library Journal
This first novel by former New York Times columnist, and now syndicated columnist, Quindlen is a well-written but not particularly engaging reflection on growing up. Maggie Scanlan, product of an Irish father and an Italian mother, lives in a New York City suburb in the 1960s. We follow her through her 12th summer, as she endures the trials and tribulations of the transition to adolescence. Maggie is not particularly insightful, though, and none of the other characters give her much insight into growing up. The characters themselves are not as lively as they might be, and the plot is standard: marriage problems, family quarrels, a problem pregnancy. Libraries may get requests for this from readers familiar with Quindlen's nonfiction. Literary Guild alternate; previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 12/90.-- Gwen Gregory, U.S. Courts Lib., Phoenix, Ariz.
School Library Journal
This first novel is an insightful family chronicle, an informed commentary on the '60s, and the coming-of-age depiction of a mother and daughter. As 13-year-old Maggie struggles with her identity within the boisterous Scanlan clan, her mother also finds her own place within the patriarchal family that has never accepted her. Both women experience rites of passage during the fateful summer that a housing development is being built behind their home, infringing on their emotional and physical spaces. A fast-paced plot involves small fires set in the development by Maggie's friends and romantic tension between her mother and a man from her past. Readers will appreciate Maggie's dilemmas as she grapples with peer pressure and sexual bewilderment, and as she begins to understand her mother, whose discontent oddly parallels her own. --Jackie Gropman, Richard Byrd Library, Springfield, VA-

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781560542513
Publisher:
Macmillan Library Reference
Publication date:
11/09/1992
Pages:
471

Meet the Author

ANNA QUINDLEN is the author of three bestselling novels, Object Lessons, One True Thing, and Black and Blue. Her New York Times column “Public & Private” won a Pulitzer Prize in 1992, and a selection of those columns was published as Thinking Out Loud. She is also the author of a collection of her “Life in the 30’s”columns, Living Out Loud; a book for the Library of Contemporary Thought, How Reading Changed My Life; the bestselling A Short Guide to a Happy Life; and two children’s books, The Tree That Came to Stay and Happily Ever After. She is currently a columnist for Newsweek and lives with her husband and children in New York City.

Brief Biography

Hometown:
New York, New York
Date of Birth:
July 8, 1952
Place of Birth:
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
Education:
B.A., Barnard College, 1974
Website:
http://annaquindlen.net/

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