It is 1980 in New York City, and Jane, a valedictorian fresh out of Harvard, strikes a deal with Neil, an intoxicating writer twenty years her senior. The two quickly become lovers, living together in a Chelsea brownstone, and Neil reveals the rules for a life well lived: If you take food home from a restaurant, don't say it's because you want leftovers for "the dog." Say that you want the bones for "a friend who does autopsies." If you can't stand on your head (which is best), learn to do cartwheels. Have sex in airplane bathrooms. Wear only raincoats made in England. Neil's certainties, Jane discovers, mask his deceptions. Her true education begins.
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by Ann Beattie
by Ann Druyan
by Kristi Ann Hunter
by Ann Handley, C.C. Chapman
by Sue Monk Kidd, Ann Kidd Taylor
by Ken Liu, Paul McAuley, James Morrow, Charlie Jane Anders, Kim Stanley Robinson, Kathleen Ann Goonan, Jeffrey Ford
by Melody Beattie
"Beattie's uninflected voice is, strangely, just right for this novella about an early-'80s Harvard whiz kid who, after residence in Vermont with her hippie lover, is seduced to New York by a manipulative, married older man. When Jane tells of winning a prestigious award with the same lack of emotion she uses to describe watching her neighbors have sex or hearing about a shocking accident, is she simply self-centered and disaffected, or is she having a breakdown, with the listener a surrogate therapist? It's not easy to like this passive, entitled woman, but Beattie's reading is a studied depiction of modern discontent. B.V.M. (c) AudioFile 2010, Portland, Maine"
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