Pages for You

( 14 )

Overview

Winner of a 2002 Lambda Literary Award

In a steam-filled diner in a college towm, Flannery Jansen catches sight of something more beautiful than she's ever seen: a graduate student, reading. The seventeen-year-old, new to evrything around her—college, the East Coast, bodies of literature, and the sexual flurries of student life—is shocked by her desire to follow this wherever it will take her. When Flannery finds herself enrolled in a class with remote, brilliant older woman, ...

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Pages for You: A Novel

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Overview

Winner of a 2002 Lambda Literary Award

In a steam-filled diner in a college towm, Flannery Jansen catches sight of something more beautiful than she's ever seen: a graduate student, reading. The seventeen-year-old, new to evrything around her—college, the East Coast, bodies of literature, and the sexual flurries of student life—is shocked by her desire to follow this wherever it will take her. When Flannery finds herself enrolled in a class with remote, brilliant older woman, she is intimidated at first, but gradually becomes Anne Arden's student—Baudelaire, lipstick colors, or how to travel with a lover—Flannery proves an eager pupil, until one day learns more about Anne than she ever wanted to know.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"With an admirable respect for the importance of youthful passion, Sylvia Brownrigg spins out this modern version of the age-old story of first love and sexual initiation."—Maria Russo, The New York Times Book Review

"Page by page, Brownrigg captures-in delicious and witty prose-the rapture and humiliation of first love . . . This exquisitely written, bittersweet Valentine of a novel is for any reader who has ever been in a romantic relationship and wants to remember and revel in all the foolish things we do for love."—Publishers Weekly

"The love affair is delightfully rendered and sharply written, tracing the arc of Flannery's discovery not only of erotic pleasures but of intellectual ardor and the wider horizons of adult life in general."—Bethany Schneider, Newsday

"A pitch-perfect evocation of a young woman journeying through a year awakenings . . . The novel is not about the 'idea' of two women in love, though Brownrigg's unabashedly honest portrait of same-sex desire is certain to nourish gay and lesbian readers. But it is her invention of such a winning heroine as Flannery that will compel bookish types of all sexual orientations who recall the thrill and anguish of growing up to identify with her plights of passage. For this elegantly rendered, poignant novel is ultimately about awakenings both bright and rude, the intoxicating nature of desire, and the realization that love can devastate just as easily as it exalts."—The Village Voice

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
The narrator of Brownrigg's thoroughly engaging new novel asks this question of her departed lover: "What would happen if I wrote some pages for you? Each day a page... to show you that I am finding a story, the story of how we might have been together, once." What follows is roughly 100 short chapters chronicling the rise and fall of one woman's first love. Flannery Jansen, 17 and fresh from a "one-horse town" in California, falls headlong for a teaching assistant at the tony (and never named) East Coast university she attends. Page by page, Brownrigg captures in delicious and witty prose the rapture and humiliation of first love: first sight, first words, first flirtation, first gift, first kiss, first night, first declaration, first fight and, as the prologue gives away, first betrayal. A lesser writer would be swamped in sentimentality, but Brownrigg handles her material with great good humor and vitality. Readers familiar with Brownrigg's first two books, the novel The Metaphysical Touch and the story collection Ten Women Who Shook the World, know that her characterizations are deft and spare. Here, in pitch-perfect dialogue, she conveys the dueling attitudes of an aspiring writer from the West and a teaching assistant deeply schooled in traditional literary criticism and academic mores. That Flannery's lover, Anne Arden, is a woman is not quite beside the point. The lovers are well aware others might find them "freaks." But refreshingly, Brownrigg doesn't make Flannery and Anne victims. They are simply two girls in love which shouldn't put any readers off. This exquisitely written, bittersweet Valentine of a novel is for any reader who has ever been in a romantic relationship and wants to remember and revel in all the foolish things we do for love. (Apr.) Forecast: Brownrigg's audience of discerning readers will grow with this book, which booksellers may recommend for its wit, fast-moving pace and emotional candor; the sexy jacket speaks for itself. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Kirkus Reviews
Brownrigg prunes back the overextended abstractions that weighed down The Metaphysical Touch (1999) to produce an affectingly slender love story. Coltish Flannery Jansen arrives from the west for her freshman year at carefully unnamed Yale University knowing nothing: not what autumn looks like, or what to order for breakfast, or how to wear her hair. And the coolly appraising eye of Anne Arden, the teaching assistant for the section of Introduction to Criticism she signs up for, makes her even more awkward and self-conscious. Since Brownrigg scorns the romantic-comedy artifices that might have kept the two women apart, however-the only obstacle here is Flannery's emotional turmoil-by Thanksgiving break they've consummated their affair over a New York weekend. The narrative voice, which, apart for a couple of imprudent glances inside Anne, remains locked into Flannery's perspective, is so ardent that the love affair seems not so much described as overheard, an effect that's accentuated by a prologue offering these lyrical, warmly episodic pages to a hopelessly distant ex-lover. Brownrigg (Ten Women Who Shook the World, 2000) floats her romantic couple along in such a hothouse atmosphere-apart from a math major with a crush on Flannery and a Korean student with a crush on Anne, there's scarcely another character on display, and the lovers' chance encounter with a pair of anonymous Florida honeymooners leads to disaster-that their world of poetry and smoking and clinging kisses seems complete in itself. Of course, no world that's been so easily won is going to remain complete for very long, and the affair ends in a flurry of missteps that seem just as facile as itsvaultingascent to the heights of bliss. A valentine that perfectly captures love's power to isolate the lovers from the rest of the world-and, in the end, from each other.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312420048
  • Publisher: Picador
  • Publication date: 4/28/2002
  • Edition description: First Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 272
  • Sales rank: 176,392
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.50 (h) x 0.61 (d)

Meet the Author

Sylvia Brownrigg is the author of the novel The Metaphysical Touch, and a collection of short stories, Ten Women Who Shook the World—both published by Picador. She lives in Berkeley, California.

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Read an Excerpt

Pages For You

PART ONE

 

 

The leaves were confettied brightly over the sidewalk as if a parade had just passed, and Flannery did not think she had ever in her life seen such colors. They would get deeper and more heartfelt, she knew, with warm oranges and pomegranate reds, and she could hardly wait for the experience. Like every other sensation, that sight was still before her. But already they were goldenrod and butternut on the ground, and up in the trees (she looked skyward) infinite greens, all the apple and lime and melon flesh she could imagine. They were so beautiful she wanted to eat them or breathe them, take them inside her, make them part of herself. At the very least, she wanted to not ever forget them. She told her memory to hold on to them; there might come a time later when she would need their solace.

She came from a place where autumn meant oncoming dampness and fog, the new drawl of the school year: a plain, dull gravity of shoulders and hope. Nothing like this fierceness of light and the brisk bite of cold on the cheek, which seemed playful, a love nip, rather than a somber slap of warning that winter might come. She was not yet wary of the winters here, having not moved through one. She knew this approaching splendor meant death and decay, the boding of ice-prisoned branches and slippery black streets, butcould not make herself feel the grief in it. All this vividness she could read only as exhilaration. Not melancholy.

Flannery abandoned herself to movie clichés of the East she'd learned as a girl in the West. She kicked her tennis-shoed feet through the leaves. She buried her hands in the pockets of her coat, which had a serious weight she was not used to. She knew that this lift of fall glory, which brought her to a shocking peak of happiness—from where, suddenly, she had a complete panoramic view; could see the shape of her future, the blank scope of her forthcoming cities and days—she knew that she would never again reach such a height of pure, sensual pleasure. Never again in her life.

She was seventeen. She had no idea about anything, really. And she was about to meet someone—literally, around the next corner.

Within that person, a new and altogether unsuspected happiness waited.

Copyright © 2001 by Sylvia Brownrigg

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 14 )
Rating Distribution

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(6)

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Sort by: Showing all of 17 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2006

    My Guilty Pleasure

    This book is my guilty pleasure that I am a little ashamed of. I have a four year literature background. Instead of my favorite book being something profound and rich with meaning, it is this one. I have yet to find a book that I have enjoyed as much. I wish that I could read it for the first time, yet again.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2003

    INTERESTING, INCREDIBLE , SEXY AND FUN

    I REALLY ENJOYED READING THIS BOOK ..I FINISHED IT IN LESS THAN A WEEK. THE CHARACTERS AR SO INTERESTING IT MAKES YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT THEIR PERSONALITES AND WHAT THEY THINK. THE PLOT WAS GOOD THE ENDING KIND OF PREDICTABLE BUT DEFENITELY WORTH READING. I COMPLETELY SUGGEST EVERYONE TO READ THIS BOOK!!! ...NOTHING BETTER THAN 2 WOMEN IN LOVE :)

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 10, 2002

    Nice. A touching love story.

    I could not give this story five stars because there were a few 'What? Really? But wouldn't she...?' moments for me. But when I started it, I decided I liked the main character and would suspend my disbelief. I gave this to a lesbian couple I know and like. They had the same problems. Wouldn't she be a little more confused? Is it just a little too simple for a college student far from home? But I told them to read it without the questions, and we decided it is a definite, worthwhile read. The end was a little too predictable, but this is still something you should experience.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2012

    Beautiful

    Probably the most well written book I have ever read. Very real and thoughtful

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2003

    A Bittersweet Ending, but in all a great tale

    'Pages For You' by Slyvia Brownrigg was a good read, I read it in 2 days, I enjoyed the short chapters(very clever idea by the author), the descriptive details of the book, and the the love between a younger woman Flannery and an older woman 11 years her senior, Anne. They learned alot about life and love, and all good things must come to an end, but not all endings are a bed of roses..

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 2, 2002

    Good Read

    I really enjoyed this book, I finished it in one day. There is a poem in the book that is also called "Pages For You" that I am in love with. Flannery writes it for Anne, and it was very touching, sensual and real. It is a good read, I definitely recommend it!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 30, 2013

    This is a well-written book about first love. It encompasses the

    This is a well-written book about first love. It encompasses the little niches of things one worries about when first getting into a relationship with someone. This isn't one of those eroitca books. It is a well-told story about a lesbian relationship. With that, that does mean it does include sex, but it does not focus on it. So it was really nice to finally read a book about a lesbian relationship that did not focus on the graphic images of their sexual exploits. 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 6, 2012

    Ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

    Such a graphic image ewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwweewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwewwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww

    0 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 20, 2002

    a great read

    the chapter length clever. created movement. sexy and fun. loved it.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 5, 2001

    Romantic and Lovely

    This book touched me - touched familiar places, feelings and memories. It was simple and easy to read yet was filled with lyrical and sensual observations and studies. I found the main character, Flannery, so appealing - I loved her innocence and later, her edge. Anne, her muse and mysterious lover, I watched with suspicion and dread but accepted because Flannery adored her. The book's sexuality teased, ached and sizzled-hot without resorting to boring, graphic, descriptions - something I find so much more provocative than reading clinical details. I loved the sentimentality despite the angst in their relationship - we've all been there. I haven't encountered many books with lesbian content that are as well written or as introspective as this one. Its well worth the read.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2001

    An amazing book that will touch you live.

    I love to read. I read almost about anything. But from some time I wanted to read something that can help me to understand Who I am, That some things happens for you growing. So I was looking for a book, THE book. Surfing on the net I discover a page with book titles, and I read 'Pages for You¿: Sylvia Brownrigg's new novel about the love affair between 17-year old college freshman Flannery and her 28-year old teaching assistant Anne. I needed to read that book. So I bought it. I read the book in two nights. I identify so much with Flannery. It was like I was reading a part of my life. It's so amazing how a book can touch your life.I want to thank Mrs. Brownrigg for this great book. It made me think that sometimes when you have a really bad moment this could teach you big things, and that I'm not alone in this world.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 13, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted February 19, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted July 7, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted October 16, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 29, 2010

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