Cover image for Tuesday nights and Wednesday mornings
Tuesday nights and Wednesday mornings
Riley, Gwendoline, 1979-
Personal Author:
First Carroll and Graf edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Carroll & Graf Publishers, [2004]

Physical Description:
231 pages ; 21 cm
Format :


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FICTION Adult Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Plucked from the rainy streets of Manchester, award-winning author Gwendoline Riley's novella and stories explore the diminishing prospects of true love, the daunting face of God, and the aftereffects of too much time at the bar with a devotion she likens to "lying on a rest room floor saying the Jesus prayer." In the titular novella, the centerpiece of the collection, we meet Esther, an emotionally capricious twenty-something, part-time struggling writer, and skeptical romantic. Esther loses herself on the streets of Manchester, her adopted home, and explores it with ritual fervor. Although her best friend Donna provides a steady source of emotional succor, Esther adopts a loner's guise in the face of a broken home and a series of less-than-storybook romances. However, when a young American musician enters her life she comes face-to-face with the intimacy she so desperately seeks. Riley has created a cast of characters that embody both an enigmatic reticence, and a graceful emotionalism. Tuesday Nights and Wednesday Mornings confirms Riley as one of the most talented new voices in fiction today.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

Manchester resident Riley writes fiercely and perceptively about the lives of young women in the British industrial town in this paperback original collection. The first piece, a novella titled "Sicknotes," is narrated by Esther, a 20-something autodidact who lives with her best friend, Donna. The two take delight in post-grunge irony, heavy drinking in public and in private, and inside jokes from literature ("Rise and shine, Raskolnikov," Donna tells Esther), but Esther's directionless frustration and self-consciousness feel as inescapable as the gray factory sky. The other stories, each only a few pages long, show Esther's contemporaries in similar wistful or destructive situations. In "Children," a woman's efforts to leave home are thwarted by her needy father; in the powerful "September," Jayne allows her older boyfriend, Daniel, to take advantage of her money and good will during a night out. The frustrating inertia of these characters, caught in pointless relationships and adolescent habits, is countered by Riley's passionate, gritty prose, which observes the ugly details of Manchester streets and bedrooms with loving originality. But when Esther, at the end of her story, determines she must "burst out of the cold bath... run downstairs in my widow's weeds," it is unclear whether her passion and angst will lead her to a fuller life or merely back to the pub. Agent, Giles Gordon. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Sick Notesp. 1
La La Landp. 167
Sad Lovep. 179
Childrenp. 183
One More Cup of Coffeep. 187
Perpetual Piccadillyp. 191
My New Friendp. 195
Self-Containmentp. 197
Septemberp. 199
Narcissismp. 205
War Storyp. 213
Au Pont Du Fontp. 221
I Thought About Youp. 227
Epiloguep. 231