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“Deviously clever . . . Sittenfeld’s Hillary is both a player in the Game of Thrones and a romance novel heroine. She’s a brilliant badass who has found her voice and knows how to use it. She’s whoever she wants to be.”—O: The Oprah Magazine
In 1971, Hillary Rodham is a young woman full of promise: Life magazine has covered her Wellesley commencement speech, she’s attending Yale Law School, and she’s on the forefront of student activism and the women’s rights movement. And then she meets Bill Clinton. A handsome, charismatic southerner and fellow law student, Bill is already planning his political career. In each other, the two find a profound intellectual, emotional, and physical connection that neither has previously experienced.
In the real world, Hillary followed Bill back to Arkansas, and he proposed several times; although she said no more than once, as we all know, she eventually accepted and became Hillary Clinton.
But in Curtis Sittenfeld’s powerfully imagined tour-de-force of fiction, Hillary takes a different road. Feeling doubt about the prospective marriage, she endures their devastating breakup and leaves Arkansas. Over the next four decades, she blazes her own trail—one that unfolds in public as well as in private, that involves crossing paths again (and again) with Bill Clinton, that raises questions about the tradeoffs all of us must make in building a life.
Brilliantly weaving a riveting fictional tale into actual historical events, Curtis Sittenfeld delivers an uncannily astute and witty story for our times. In exploring the loneliness, moral ambivalence, and iron determination that characterize the quest for political power, as well as both the exhilaration and painful compromises demanded of female ambition in a world still run mostly by men, Rodham is a singular and unforgettable novel.
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY NPR AND THE TIMES (UK)
This version of the Bennet family—and Mr. Darcy—is one that you have and haven’t met before: Liz is a magazine writer in her late thirties who, like her yoga instructor older sister, Jane, lives in New York City. When their father has a health scare, they return to their childhood home in Cincinnati to help—and discover that the sprawling Tudor they grew up in is crumbling and the family is in disarray.
Youngest sisters Kitty and Lydia are too busy with their CrossFit workouts and Paleo diets to get jobs. Mary, the middle sister, is earning her third online master’s degree and barely leaves her room, except for those mysterious Tuesday-night outings she won’t discuss. And Mrs. Bennet has one thing on her mind: how to marry off her daughters, especially as Jane’s fortieth birthday fast approaches.
Enter Chip Bingley, a handsome new-in-town doctor who recently appeared on the juggernaut reality TV dating show Eligible. At a Fourth of July barbecue, Chip takes an immediate interest in Jane, but Chip’s friend neurosurgeon Fitzwilliam Darcy reveals himself to Liz to be much less charming. . . .
And yet, first impressions can be deceiving.
Praise for Eligible
“Even the most ardent Austenite will soon find herself seduced.”—O: The Oprah Magazine
“Blissful . . . Sittenfeld modernizes the classic in such a stylish, witty way you’d guess even Jane Austen would be pleased.”—People (book of the week)
“[A] sparkling, fresh contemporary retelling.”—Entertainment Weekly
“[Sittenfeld] is the ideal modern-day reinterpreter. Her special skill lies not just in her clear, clean writing, but in her general amusement about the world, her arch, pithy, dropped-mike observations about behavior, character and motivation. She can spot hypocrisy, cant, self-contradiction and absurdity ten miles away. She’s the one you want to leave the party with, so she can explain what really happened. . . . Not since Clueless, which transported Emma to Beverly Hills, has Austen been so delightedly interpreted. . . . Sittenfeld writes so well—her sentences are so good and her story so satisfying. . . . As a reader, let me just say: Three cheers for Curtis Sittenfeld and her astute, sharp and ebullient anthropological interest in the human condition.”—Sarah Lyall, The New York Times Book Review
“A clever, uproarious evolution of Austen’s story.”—The Denver Post
“If there exists a more perfect pairing than Curtis Sittenfeld and Jane Austen, we dare you to find it. . . . Sittenfeld makes an already irresistible story even more beguiling and charming.”—Elle
“A playful, wickedly smart retelling of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice.
In this incisive short story about memory and the limits of self-perception, the New York Times bestselling author of Rodham and Prep reflects on motherhood, gender, power dynamics, and the lingering effects of the past.
Emily appears to have it all: professional success and a sweet family life. But when her promotion causes her family to relocate to a new city, the move unexpectedly stirs up unpleasant memories of Jack Olney, the handsome jock who bullied her during college.
As Emily sorts through her recollections and past humiliations, she decides to reach out to her old dorm mates. Do they remember her? Are they happy? And whatever happened to Jack?
With piercing emotional truth, Curtis Sittenfeld explores the indignities we can’t ever seem to shake—and the pitfalls of self-reflection.
A kind, bookish only child born in the 1940s, Alice learned the virtues of politeness early on from her stolid parents and small Wisconsin hometown. But a tragic accident when she was seventeen shattered her identity and made her understand the fragility of life and the tenuousness of luck. So more than a decade later, when she met boisterous, charismatic Charlie Blackwell, she hardly gave him a second look: She was serious and thoughtful, and he would rather crack a joke than offer a real insight; he was the wealthy son of a bastion family of the Republican party, and she was a school librarian and registered Democrat. Comfortable in her quiet and unassuming life, she felt inured to his charms. And then, much to her surprise, Alice fell for Charlie.
As Alice learns to make her way amid the clannish energy and smug confidence of the Blackwell family, navigating the strange rituals of their country club and summer estate, she remains uneasy with her newfound good fortune. And when Charlie eventually becomes President, Alice is thrust into a position she did not seek–one of power and influence, privilege and responsibility. As Charlie’s tumultuous and controversial second term in the White House wears on, Alice must face contradictions years in the making: How can she both love and fundamentally disagree with her husband? How complicit has she been in the trajectory of her own life? What should she do when her private beliefs run against her public persona?
In Alice Blackwell, New York Times bestselling author Curtis Sittenfeld has created her most dynamic and complex heroine yet. American Wife is a gorgeously written novel that weaves class, wealth, race, and the exigencies of fate into a brilliant tapestry–a novel in which the unexpected becomes inevitable, and the pleasures and pain of intimacy and love are laid bare.
BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Curtis Sittenfeld's Sisterland.
Praise for American Wife
“Curtis Sittenfeld is an amazing writer, and American Wife is a brave and moving novel about the intersection of private and public life in America. Ambitious and humble at the same time, Sittenfeld refuses to trivialize or simplify people, whether real or imagined.”
“What a remarkable (and brave) thing: a compassionate, illuminating, and beautifully rendered portrait of a fictional Republican first lady with a life and husband very much like our actual Republican first lady’s. Curtis Sittenfeld has written a novel as impressive as it is improbable.”
“I really loved all the characters in this book. They’re so complex and interesting, and in every story, you’ll find them going through these pivotal moments in their lives.”—Reese Witherspoon (Reese’s Book Club x Hello Sunshine Book Pick)
NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY PEOPLE AND USA TODAY AND ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY The Washington Post • NPR • Financial Times • San Francisco Chronicle • New York Public Library • Refinery29
A suburban mother of two fantasizes about the downfall of an old friend whose wholesome lifestyle empire may or may not be built on a lie. A high-powered lawyer honeymooning with her husband is caught off guard by the appearance of the girl who tormented her in high school. A shy Ivy League student learns the truth about a classmate’s seemingly enviable life.
Curtis Sittenfeld has established a reputation as a sharp chronicler of the modern age who humanizes her subjects even as she skewers them. Now, with this first collection of short fiction, her “astonishing gift for creating characters that take up residence in readers’ heads” (The Washington Post) is showcased like never before. Throughout the ten stories in You Think It, I’ll Say It, Sittenfeld upends assumptions about class, relationships, and gender roles in a nation that feels both adrift and viscerally divided.
With moving insight and uncanny precision, Curtis Sittenfeld pinpoints the questionable decisions, missed connections, and sometimes extraordinary coincidences that make up a life. Indeed, she writes what we’re all thinking—if only we could express it with the wit of a master satirist, the storytelling gifts of an old-fashioned raconteur, and the vision of an American original.
*Booklist (starred review)
LONGLISTED FOR THE CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE IN FICTION
“At once psychologically acute, deftly crafted and deeply pleasurable.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“Witty and buoyant . . . Each deceptively simple and breezy story is masterfully paced and crafted.”—Chicago Tribune
“Perfectly paced, witty and laced with unexpected twists: Every story here sticks its landing. Whatever [Sittenfeld] writes, we’ll read it.”—People
“Razor-sharp, often hilarious . . . [Curtis Sittenfeld] is a sharp observer of human nature and human relationships. . . . A witty, breezy, zeitgeist-y collection.”—USA Today
Lee Fiora is an intelligent, observant fourteen-year-old when her father drops her off in front of her dorm at the prestigious Ault School in Massachusetts. She leaves her animated, affectionate family in South Bend, Indiana, at least in part because of the boarding school’s glossy brochure, in which boys in sweaters chat in front of old brick buildings, girls in kilts hold lacrosse sticks on pristinely mown athletic fields, and everyone sings hymns in chapel.
As Lee soon learns, Ault is a cloistered world of jaded, attractive teenagers who spend summers on Nantucket and speak in their own clever shorthand. Both intimidated and fascinated by her classmates, Lee becomes a shrewd observer of—and, ultimately, a participant in—their rituals and mores. As a scholarship student, she constantly feels like an outsider and is both drawn to and repelled by other loners. By the time she’s a senior, Lee has created a hard-won place for herself at Ault. But when her behavior takes a self-destructive and highly public turn, her carefully crafted identity within the community is shattered.
Ultimately, Lee’s experiences—complicated relationships with teachers; intense friendships with other girls; an all-consuming preoccupation with a classmate who is less than a boyfriend and more than a crush; conflicts with her parents, from whom Lee feels increasingly distant—coalesce into a singular portrait of the painful and thrilling adolescence universal to us all.
BONUS: This edition includes an excerpt from Curtis Sittenfeld's Sisterland.
Praise for Prep
“Curtis Sittenfeld is a young writer with a crazy amount of talent. Her sharp and economical prose reminds us of Joan Didion and Tobias Wolff. Like them, she has a sly and potent wit, which cuts unexpectedly—but often—through the placid surface of her prose. Her voice is strong and clear, her moral compass steady; I’d believe anything she told me.”—Dave Eggers, author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius
“Prep’s every sentence rings true. Sittenfeld is a rising star.”—Wally Lamb, author of She’s Come Undone and I Know This Much Is True
Hannah Gavener is fourteen in the summer of 1991. In the magazines she reads, celebrities plan elaborate weddings; in Hannah’s own life, her parents’ marriage is crumbling. And somewhere in between these two extremes—just maybe—lie the answers to love’s most bewildering questions. But over the next decade and a half, as she moves from Philadelphia to Boston to Albuquerque, Hannah finds that the questions become more rather than less complicated: At what point can you no longer blame your adult failures on your messed-up childhood? Is settling for someone who’s not your soul mate an act of maturity or an admission of defeat? And if you move to another state for a guy who might not love you back, are you being plucky—or just pathetic?
None of the relationships in Hannah’s life are without complications. There’s her father, whose stubbornness Hannah realizes she’s unfortunately inherited; her gorgeous cousin, Fig, whose misbehavior alternately intrigues and irritates Hannah; Henry, whom Hannah first falls for in college, while he’s dating Fig; and the boyfriends who love her more or less than she deserves, who adore her or break her heart. By the time she’s in her late twenties, Hannah has finally figured out what she wants most—but she doesn’t yet know whether she’ll find the courage to go after it.
Full of honesty and humor, The Man of My Dreams is an unnervingly insightful and beautifully written examination of the outside forces and personal choices that make us who we are.
NAMED ONE OF THE BEST NOVELS OF THE YEAR BY
Slate • Daily Candy • St. Louis Post-Dispatch • The Guardian (U.K.)
“Novelists get called master storytellers all the time, but Sittenfeld really is one. . . . What might be most strikingly excellent about Sisterland is the way Sittenfeld depicts domesticity and motherhood.”—Maggie Shipstead, The Washington Post
“Psychologically vivid . . . Sisterland is a testament to [Curtis Sittenfeld’s] growing depth and assurance as a writer.”—Michiko Kakutani, The New York Times
“[Sittenfeld’s] gifts are in full effect with this novel, and she uses them to create a genuinely engrossing sense of uncertainty and suspense.”—Sloane Crosley, NPR’s All Things Considered
Curtis Sittenfeld, author of American Wife and Prep, returns with a mesmerizing novel of family and identity, loyalty and deception, and the delicate line between truth and belief.
From an early age, Kate and her identical twin sister, Violet, knew that they were unlike everyone else. Kate and Vi were born with peculiar “senses”—innate psychic abilities concerning future events and other people’s secrets. Though Vi embraced her visions, Kate did her best to hide them.
Now, years later, their different paths have led them both back to their hometown of St. Louis. Vi has pursued an eccentric career as a psychic medium, while Kate, a devoted wife and mother, has settled down in the suburbs to raise her two young children. But when a minor earthquake hits in the middle of the night, the normal life Kate has always wished for begins to shift. After Vi goes on television to share a premonition that another, more devastating earthquake will soon hit the St. Louis area, Kate is mortified. Equally troubling, however, is her fear that Vi may be right. As the date of the predicted earthquake quickly approaches, Kate is forced to reconcile her fraught relationship with her sister and to face truths about herself she’s long tried to deny.
Funny, haunting, and thought-provoking, Sisterland is a beautifully written novel of the obligation we have toward others, and the responsibility we take for ourselves. With her deep empathy, keen wisdom, and unerring talent for finding the extraordinary moments in our everyday lives, Curtis Sittenfeld is one of the most exceptional voices in literary fiction today.
Praise for Sisterland
“What’s most captivating about Sisterland is the intimate, intense portrayal of identical twin sisters. . . . [The novel] unfolds like a good prophecy—inevitable and shocking.”—San Francisco Chronicle
“The accomplished Sittenfeld . . . is as skillful as ever at developing an intriguing premise and likable characters. . . . Sittenfeld’s affectionate take on sibling rivalry is spot-on.
“To read their stories felt to me the way I suspect other people feel hearing jazz for the first time,” recalls Curtis Sittenfeld of her initial encounter with the Best American Short Stories series. “They were windows into emotions I had and hadn’t had, into other settings and circumstances and observations and relationships.” Decades later, Sittenfeld was met by the same feeling selecting the stories for this year’s edition. The result is a striking and nuanced collection, bringing to life awkward college students, disgraced public figures, raunchy grandparents, and mystical godmothers. To read these stories is to experience the transporting joys of discovery and affirmation, and to realize that story writing in America continues to flourish.
THE BEST AMERICAN SHORT STORIES 2020 INCLUDES T. C. BOYLE • EMMA CLINE • MARY GAITSKILL
ANDREA LEE • ELIZABETH McCRACKEN • ALEJANDRO PUYANA WILLIAM PEI SHIH • KEVIN WILSON and others
Elizabeth et Darcy sont de retour.
Toutes les mères de famille de Cincinnati sont dans les starting-blocks : le célèbre Chip Bingley vient de s'installer en ville. Ex-participant d'une émission de téléréalité, il est beau, médecin, riche et CÉLIBATAIRE. Le parti idéal.
Elizabeth Bennet, de son côté, s'en moque éperdument, d'autant que le jeune homme est toujours accompagné de son collègue, l'insupportable et suffisant Fitzwilliam Darcy. La jeune femme a de toute façon de quoi faire : elle a décidé de redresser les finances familiales malgré la résistance de trois sœurs qui vivent encore aux crochets de leurs parents et d'une mère qui soigne ses névroses à coups de shopping en ligne.
Quant à sa sœur aînée, Jane, elle n'a rien trouvé de mieux que de craquer pour le fameux Chip. Et puisque l'attirance semble réciproque, Elizabeth devra encore croiser ce foutu Darcy. Génial.
" Il n'existe pas de plus parfaite association que Curtis Sittenfeld et Jane Austen. "
" Un pur bonheur... Frivole, glamour, un Orgueil et Préjugés terriblement moderne. " Jessie Burton, auteur du
"Curtis Sittenfelds ‚Vermählung‘ ist eine unterhaltsame Nacherzählung des Klassikers, die Austen in Sachen Witz und Schlagfertigkeit in Nichts nachsteht. (…) Mit viel Humor und geistreichen Dialogen erforscht Sittenfeld diese privilegierte Familie voller Vorurteile und zeigt, was es heißt, reich, weiß und somit desillusioniert im heutigen Amerika zu sein."
"Niemand schreibt mit Austens besonderer Sensibilität - und niemand würde es wirklich versuchen wollen: Sie war perfekt für ihre Zeit. Aber Sittenfeld ist die ideale Autorin, um ihr Werk zu adaptieren. Ihr besonderer Reiz liegt nicht nur in ihrem klaren, sauberen Schreibstil, sondern auch in ihrer allgemeinen Belustigung über die Welt, ihren prägnanten Beobachtungen über menschliche Verhaltensweisen, Charakterzüge und Beweggründe."
New York Times
"Eine perfektere Kombination als Curtis Sittenfeld und Jane Austen muss man erst mal finden! Sittenfeld macht die bereits unwiderstehliche Geschichte noch faszinierender und bezaubernder."
"Das Buch des Sommers."
"Selbst der eingeschworenste Austen-Fan wird sich von diesem Buch verführen lassen."
The Oprah Magazine
"Eine herausragend frische Adaption!"