Nine Months in the Life of an Old Maid

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He, like the male protagonist in most of Rossner's novels, knows himself most imperfectly, but Margaret has come to recognize some of her own delusions and is herself determined to grow up even if her husband cannot. In Attachments , Nadine's needs and capacity for anomie are seemingly without limits.

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Marrying one of the freakish Siamese twins, and coercing her friend to marry the other so that the two women can remain together, Nadine lives in the circus atmosphere of her own making for more than thirteen years—through the birth of several children, the operation which separates the twins, the trials of her adolescent daughter, to her final decision to leave Amos and accept the guilt of knowing she had neither loved him when he was a freak, nor when he becomes normal.

She has to go because she has now learned limits and it has become intolerable to live with the image of her own twisted, hopelessly vulnerable adolescent self. But in this novel, unlike the other two, the reader feels a terrible pity for the male protagonist and much more ambivalent about Nadine's decision. Emmeline is a poignant book.

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It is written simply, capturing life in the industrial city of Lowell, and making us see how Emmeline's deprivations and innocence lead to her ruin. There is a sentimentality in the tale, but it is also simple and affecting. When the incest theme completes itself, there is a darkness reminiscent of Edith Wharton's Ethan Frome. In August Rossner offers a full portrait of a divorced psychiatrist's life with her children and her lovers, not to mention her patients.

An Old Maid's Paradise () - This Victorian Life

In the other novels we see much of the moral confusion of broken households and much of the weight of despair alternating with boredom of the household which remain intact. August , although it traces the torturous childhood of Lulu Shinefeld's patient, Dawn, is a more compassionate and healing novel than any of the others. Dawn's life has more than its share of aberrations—after the tragic death of her parents, she has been raised by two lesbians, her surrogate parents, whose "divorce" when the novel opens drives Dawn into the arms of the analyst and many lovers.

Nonetheless, despite the lurid details of Dawn's past which are recounted upon the analyst's couch as Dawn tries to recover her past, the novel itself is full of comic and affecting moments and the subplot about Dr. Shinefeld's private life is handled with humor and warmth. Ultimately, in this novel, both women mend, and, in the case of Dr. Shinefeld, we witness how life feels after she has mended and what life without a husband and with a career and children is actually like.

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The more affirmative character of this novel marks a greater maturity in its author. It counters the Victorian ideals of family, mother and sisterhood with its scathing examination of the broken family of the late twentieth century and its progeny.

Nine Months in the Life of an Old Maid

This new book is replete with divorces, rivalries between half-sisters and wives, and lurid accounts of the breakdown of the family. It offers a late twentieth-century critique of Alcott's novel. In His Little Women , the modern counterpart for Marmie is three different women, all connected by the fact that they have been married to the same man, Sam Pearlstein, the Papa March of this postmodern world.

One of the Marmie figures is a neurasthenic, narcissistic movie star who coyly plays mistress to her husband, a Hollywood producer with four daughters from three wives. Leaving her own family in order to be joined again with her natural father and ushered into his Hollywood world, Louisa becomes a best-selling novelist, penning a so-called "libelous" novel at the expense of her father and his extended family.

It is probably no accident that this figure bears the first name of Alcott, thus commenting upon Alcott's relationship to her subject at the same time as it comments upon one of the characters in Alcott's book. It is difficult to tell who are Meg and Amy in Rossner's rereading of Alcott's novel and certainly Sam Pearlstein, the charismatic, Don Juan father is an unexpected counterpart to Mr.


There is much in the novel that is more the stuff of pulp fiction and Princess Daisy than the work of a serious writer working in the literary traditions that gave rise to the much loved Little Women. Too much of Rossner's novel is preoccupied with the role of the writer, the license a writer can take with fact, and the personal costs of writing when the author is a woman, and a mother at that. Nonetheless, the book is funny in places. Its portrait of the Hollywood era of the big stars, producers, and paternalistic studio has a certain authentic ring to it. And like August , it is written heavily under the spell of Freud while simultaneously attacking him.

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Perfidia draws on contemporary themes—an abused daughter who ultimately kills her mother—and portrays them against the backdrop of s decadence that had, by the end of the s, become a staple of film if not fiction; but Rossner's unsympathetic portrayal of her characters gives readers few opportunities to bond with the story. Rossner is an accomplished writer. She can spin a good tale; she can write a chilling, taut novel of suspense and murder or a raucous, bawdy tale of attachments. She writes mostly about women and her writing has further broken the silence that has shrouded so much of women's lives.

Her accounts of pregnancy, sex with a stranger, the introduction of a man into a single-parent household, and women's needs explore areas of experience that have traditionally been ignored in the novel. Novels To the Precipice. New York, Morrow, ; London, Barker, Looking for Mr.

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An ambulance took Eric to the National University Hospital, where he died at 6. She will be going home soon. Eric's parents were not at the coroner's court yesterday, and Mr Wong declined comment when approached last night. But the tragedy was still fresh on the minds of some Hillview Green residents when The Straits Times visited them yesterday evening.

Stock broker Lincoln Lim, 45, remembered rushing home that day when a neighbour told him of the tragedy.

Shocking Footage: Maid kicks & fractures 9-month-old baby's head in day care

The father of two, including a seven-year-old, wanted to make sure the plastic sheets covering the grilles in his home were secure. And it's always better to be overly cautious," he said. Another resident, who wanted to be known only as Satish, said Mr Wong and his wife, who used to frequent the estate's park, have hardly been seen this past year.

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