Cover image for The American lover : and other stories
Title:
The American lover : and other stories
Author:
Tremain, Rose., author.
Personal Author:
Uniform Title:
Short stories. Selections
Edition:
First American edition.
Publication Information:
New York : W. W. Norton & Company, 2015.

©2014
Physical Description:
232 pages ; 22 cm
Summary:
"Trapped in a London apartment, Beth remembers a transgressive love affair in 1960s Paris. The most famous writer in Russia takes his last breath in a stationmaster's cottage, miles from Moscow. A young woman who is about to marry a rich aristocrat instead begins a torrid relationship with a construction worker. A father, finally free of his daughter's demands, embarks on a long swim from his Canadian lakeside retreat. A middle-aged woman cares for her injured mother at Christmas. And in the grandest house of all, Danni the Polish housekeeper catches the eye of an enigmatic visitor, Daphne du Maurier" --
Language:
English
Contents:
American lover -- Captive -- Jester of Astapovo -- Extra geography -- A view of Lake Superior in the fall -- Man in the water -- Juliette Greco's black dress -- Housekeeper -- Smithy -- BlackBerry winter -- Lucy and Gaston -- Closing door -- 21st-Century Juliet.
ISBN:
9780393246711
Format :
Book

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Summary

Summary

Trapped in a London apartment, Beth remembers a transgressive love affair in 1960s Paris. The most famous writer in Russia takes his last breath in a stationmaster's cottage, miles from Moscow. A young woman who is about to marry a rich aristocrat instead begins a torrid relationship with a construction worker. A father, finally free of his daughter's demands, embarks on a long swim from his Canadian lakeside retreat. A middle-aged woman cares for her injured mother at Christmas. And in the grandest house of all, Danni the Polish housekeeper catches the eye of an enigmatic visitor, Daphne du Maurier.Rose Tremain awakens the senses in this magnificent and diverse collection of short stories. In her precise yet sensuous style, she lays bare the soul of her characters--the admirable, the embarrassing, the unfulfilled, the sexy, and the adorable--to uncover a dazzling range of human emotions and desires.


Author Notes

Rose Tremain was born in London, England on August 2, 1943. She has written several novels including The Way I Found Her, Merivel: A Man of His Time, and The American Lover. Restoration was adapted into a movie in 1995 and a stage production in 2009. She has won numerous awards including the James Tait Memorial Prize and the Prix Femina Etranger for Sacred Country, the Whitbread Novel of the Year Award for Music and Silence, and the Orange Prize for Fiction in 2008 for The Road Home. She was made a CBE in 2007.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 3

Booklist Review

*Starred Review* In this season of outstanding story collections (e.g., Tremain's fellow British writer Hilary Mantel's very recent The Assassination of Margaret Thatcher), this one occupies space in the top drawer. Tremain is the author of, among many outstanding novels, the Man Booker Prize shortlisted Restoration (1989), about the restored English monarchy under Charles II after the Puritan interregnum (the novel was made into a very successful movie with Robert Downey Jr.). It is always exciting to see fiction writers as well versed in the short form as in the long, and Tremain's adeptness at not only drawing in page-length but also, and more important, reducing theme and plot to a smaller scale while simultaneously creating a compelling narrative tension is to be admired. The title story is an extremely well-expressed, profoundly felt look at a done-with affair that spurred the woman to write a novel that becomes famous but the draw of the story is that the usual affair tropes are given fresh life. The most rewarding story is The Housekeeper, breathtaking in its ingenuity as Tremain imagines the real housekeeper behind Daphne Du Maurier's character Mrs. Danvers, in Rebecca. HIGH-DEMAND BACKSTORY: The popularity of Tremain's novels will send readers to her short fiction.--Hooper, Brad Copyright 2014 Booklist


Publisher's Weekly Review

In the title story, which kicks off this collection from Tremain (Man Booker Prize shortlisted for Restoration), Beth, a British author nearing 30, has recently been in a car accident that broke both her legs. Recuperating at her parents' apartment, Beth takes to waiting for Rosalita, the housekeeper, who comes by every afternoon and listens to the story of Beth's life, while dusting and sharing some stories of her own. In Paris at age 19, Beth was seduced by an older, aloof American who left her bereft after his sudden departure. Beth then depicted their relationship in what became a global sensation of a novel, which made her rich but no less forlorn. "The Housekeeper" features a former servant in a grand English estate recounting the betrayal of a lover. In "Extra Geography," two high school girls, both field hockey players, set their sights on a young female teacher. The breadth of subjects and settings is matched by Tremain's exquisite prose. Readers might just want to take a break between stories, to savor the language and the images. (Feb.) © Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.


Library Journal Review

Tremain's baker's dozen stories are beautiful depictions of the messy interiors of human emotions. In her title story, a once-popular author, now crippled after a devastating accident, reflects on the obsessive love affair that both made and destroyed her. In "The Jester of Astapovo," a depressed 1910 Russian stationmaster stuck in a shriveled marriage while pining for an unattainable "other" is caught up in the drama of hiding a desperately ill Leo Tolstoy from his madly controlling wife. "The Housekeeper" moves forward 26 years, presenting the story behind the story of Daphne du Maurier's Rebecca. The narrator, Mrs. Danowski, is asked by her employer, Lord de Whithers of Manderville Hall, to give visiting guest du Maurier a tour of the estate. A stop at the summerhouse on the grounds triggers an explosive, albeit secretive affair between the women that ultimately leads to shocking literary betrayal. VERDICT Award-winning novelist Tremain (The Road Home) has written an exquisite collection of stories that span decades, continents, and the thin line between reality and imagination, with each piece fleshing out conflicts of the heart with masterly strokes.[See Prepub Alert, 8/22/14.]-Beth Andersen, formerly with Ann Arbor Dist. Lib., MI (c) Copyright 2014. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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