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End of the Novel of Lo


In a thousand novels of love-in-the-Western-world, the progression of feeling between a woman of intelligence and a man of will is charted through a struggle that ends when the woman melts into romantic longing. In twelve new and collected essays, memoirist and critic Vivian Gornick explores a century of novels in which the authors have portrayed women who challenge the desire to be swept away. Exploring the writing of Jean Rhys, Clover Adams, Christina Stead, Willa Cather, Grace Paley, Hannah Arendt, Andre Dubus, Raymond Carver, and others, Gornick shows us how novels have increasingly questioned the inevitability of love and marriage as the path to self-knowledge and fulfillment. Most recently, it is the drama of our own frightened or angry selves in the presence of love that has become our preoccupation; the novel in which romantic love is a metaphor for salvation can no longer make great literature. Combining her brilliant critical writing with her sharp psychological insights into the lives of the writers she admires, Gornick offers us beautiful essays on the complex struggle in literature between the solitary self and the desire for love. Hide synopsis

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