An Available Man: A Novel (Google eBook)

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Random House Publishing Group, Jan 24, 2012 - Fiction - 288 pages
79 Reviews
In this tender and funny novel, award-winning author Hilma Wolitzer mines the unpredictable fallout of suddenly becoming single later in life, and the chaos and joys of falling in love the second time around. When Edward Schuyler, a modest and bookish sixty-two-year-old science teacher, is widowed, he finds himself ambushed by female attention. There are plenty of unattached women around, but a healthy, handsome, available man is a rare and desirable creature. Edward receives phone calls from widows seeking love, or at least lunch, while well-meaning friends try to set him up at dinner parties. Even an attractive married neighbor offers herself to him.

The problem is that Edward doesn’t feel available. He’s still mourning his beloved wife, Bee, and prefers solitude and the familiar routine of work, gardening, and bird-watching. But then his stepchildren surprise him by placing a personal ad in The New York Review of Books on his behalf. Soon the letters flood in, and Edward is torn between his loyalty to Bee’s memory and his growing longing for connection. Gradually, reluctantly, he begins dating (“dating after death,” as one correspondent puts it), and his encounters are variously startling, comical, and sad. Just when Edward thinks he has the game figured out, a chance meeting proves that love always arrives when it’s least expected.

With wit, warmth, and a keen understanding of the heart, An Available Man explores aspects of loneliness and togetherness, and the difference in the options open to men and women of a certain age. Most of all, the novel celebrates the endurance of love, and its thrilling capacity to bloom anew.

Look for special features inside. Join the Random House Reader’s Circle for author chats and more.
 
“Funny, wise and touching.”—The Washington Post
 
“Wonderful . . . [Hilma] Wolitzer’s vision of the world, for all its sorrow, is often hilarious and always compassionate.”—The New York Times Book Review
 
“Smart and poignant, An Available Man explores some universal truths—that the past is never past, life is for the living, and dating is really, really hard.”—O: The Oprah Magazine
 
“Charming . . . Wolitzer is a champ at the closely observed, droll novel of manners.”—NPR
 
“[Hilma Wolitzer is an] American literary treasure.”—The Boston Globe
 
“A deeply satisfying story of love lost and found.”—Bookreporter
  

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Ms. Wolitzer's portrayal is insightful and poignant. - LibraryThing
That's how skillful a writer Wolitzer is. - LibraryThing
There is a love story, well more than one, actually. - LibraryThing

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - TimBazzett - LibraryThing

Hey, I loved this book! I came to it half-expecting another "chick-lit" tome, but AN AVAILABLE MAN goes way beyond that. Hilma Wolitzer is quite simply a very good writer, and has created a ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - JoStARs - LibraryThing

Hilma Wolitzer has written a charming book about middle aged love and loss from the male point of view. Edward Schuyler is down-to-earth, average man character who is easy to root for. His story is ... Read full review

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About the author (2012)

Hilma Wolitzer is the author of several novels, including Summer Reading, The Doctor’s Daughter, Hearts, Ending, and Tunnel of Love, as well as a nonfiction book, The Company of Writers. She is a recipient of Guggenheim and NEA fellowships, an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Barnes & Noble Writer for Writers Award.  She has taught writing at the University of Iowa, New York University, and Columbia University.


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