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Herb's Pajamas

Thomas, Abigail

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ISBN 10: 1565121899 / ISBN 13: 9781565121898
Verlag: Algonquin Books, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, U.S.A., 1998
Gebraucht Zustand: Fine Hardcover
Verkäufer Robinson Street Books, IOBA (Binghamton, NY, USA)

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1565121899 Fine in Fine dust jacket. First edition.* Quality, Value, Experience. Media Shipped in New Boxes. Buchnummer des Verkäufers LD5342

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Bibliografische Details

Titel: Herb's Pajamas

Verlag: Algonquin Books, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, U.S.A.

Erscheinungsdatum: 1998

Einband: Hardcover


Zustand des Schutzumschlags: Fine

Auflage: First Edition.

Über diesen Titel


With her own special brand of delicate, elliptical, and humorous fiction, Abigail Thomas offers another extraordinary visit with people she knows far better than they know themselves. There's Walter, newly abandoned by his wife; there's Edith, a fiftyish virgin; there's Bunny, taking care of her mother and her mother's boyfriend; and there's Belle, whose married lover dies in the hallway wearing her dead husband Herb's pajama top. Blindly, they encounter one another in ways the reader recognizes are profound even as the characters themselves are unaware. The genius and the art in this collection derives from the possibility that these ships might actually find each other by daylight. If only these four could get together--they'd be so good for each other. "Written with an expert touch, and a wise and tender sensibility. The effect is subtle, strong, and comic."--Charles Baxter, author of BELIEVERS and BURNING DOWN THE HOUSE; "It's hard to think she is capable of writing anything that isn't immediately engaging and a joy to read. Probably someone should publish her shopping lists."--Elizabeth Berg, author of TALK BEFORE SLEEP. A BOOK-OF-THE-MONTH CLUB SELECTION


A less commercial book than Herb's Pajamas is difficult to imagine. Part novel, part collection of interlinked stories, it follows four New Yorkers living lives of quiet desperation on a single square block of Manhattan's Upper West Side. In the first and perhaps most fully realized section, a mild-mannered copyeditor both mourns and fails to understand his much-loved wife's departure. Cleverly divided into tiny vignettes entitled "Hat," "Gloves," and so on, "Edith's Wardrobe" follows a "trembly maiden of 52" as she daydreams her way through the aftermath of her mother's death. In the third section, a 14-year-old runs away from home to search for her missing sister, while the aging narrator of the brief title story finds her married lover dead on the fire escape and must decide what to do with his body.

Rather than bring these lonely people together in a more conventionally novelistic way, Thomas instead allows them to brush by each other in the street without ever noticing, much as they might in real life. Thomas's characters haunt the same bookstores, the same neighborhood cafés, and the reader experiences the thrill of recognition when their paths cross. (Is that Walter we spot in the movie theater lobby? Is the "woman in the green shawl" the bookstore owner, and has he finally asked her out?) The choice is both daring and apt. As much as these characters want to connect to the world around them, their inability to do so is precisely the point of this slender, quietly witty book.

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