A certain age: a novel

Front Cover
Doubleday, Jul 20, 1999 - Fiction - 317 pages
4 Reviews
When a woman reaches a certain age, the quest for a husband takes on a particular urgency--especially in certain tightly woven social circles.A Certain Ageis a biting and masterful social satire from the bestselling author ofSlaves of New York. Tama Janowitz created a literary sensation with her first book about New York and its slaves, establishing herself as one of the preeminent voices of her generation. Now, she returns with a wickedly funny and glisteningly dark novel that takes as its subject our current obsession with conspicuous consumption--especially in the form of one very misguided young woman, desperate to secure a mate and a certain lifestyle. When Florence Collins sets out on the jitney for a weekend at her friend Natalie's house in the Hamptons, she boards the bus with an air of unspoken expectation, especially when she spots the very wealthy and still available, if somewhat uptight, Charlie Twigall. But the weekend's promise of potential partnering spirals into a disastrous series of mishaps that include an unwanted nighttime visit from Natalie's husband, the near drowning of Natalie's daughter, a bad financial gamble, and the expulsion of one Florence Collins from the premises. Thus begins this tragicomic novel about the sad plight of a woman on the make in Manhattan. Biding her time in a low-paying job at one of the lesser auction houses, Florence spends every cent of her not-so-hard-earned money and what's left of her mother's inheritance on body wraps, designer clothes, custom-mixed makeup and skin emollients, and every other known accessory--all in the vain hope of attracting a rich husband. In prose at once biting and sparkling, Janowitz has created a novel of modern manners with this sly and unforgettable portrait of New York society, as unforgiving today as it was a hundred years ago.

From inside the book

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - bookaholixanon - LibraryThing

I don't often dislike a book to the extent that I disliked this book. My wife and I often read books together, to each other, and we both hated this one. The female protagonist is appropriately ... Read full review


User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Vaguely matured author Janowitz (By the Shores of Gitchee Gumee, 1996, etc.) creates a well-rounded, static character, smartly walks her through New York's social paces, and succeeds in creating a ... Read full review


Section 1
Section 2
Section 3

32 other sections not shown

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (1999)

Tama Janowitz is the author of  Slaves of New York, American Dad, A Cannibal in Manhattan, The Male Cross-Dresser Support Group, and By the Shores of Gitchee Gumee. Her writing has appeared in numerous periodicals, including The New Yorker, Paris Review, Harper's, Vogue, and Elle. She was an Alfred Hodder Fellow in the Humanities at Princeton and the recipient of two NEA grants in fiction, as well as a New York State Council of the Arts award in fiction. She lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and child.

Bibliographic information