Sabbatical: A Romance

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Putnam, 1982 - Fiction - 366 pages
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Subtitled "a romance", Sabbatical is the story of Susan Rachel Allan Seckler, a sharp young associate professor of early American literature - part Jewish, part Gypsy, and possibly descended from Edgar Allen Poe - and her husband Fenwick Scott Key Turner, a 50-year-old ex-CIA officer currently between careers, a direct descendant of the author of "The Star Spangled Banner" and himself the author of a troublemaking book about his former employer. Seven years into their marriage, they decide to take a sabbatical, a sailboat journey on which they sum up their years together and try to make important decisions about the years ahead. True to its subtitle, the novel combines the mysterious and marvelous (unexplained disappearances; a fabled sea monster in Chesapeake Bay) with romantic love and daring adventure.

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Sabbatical: A Romance (American Literature Series)

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"Movingly original," said LJ's reviewer of this tale of teacher Susan and her ex-CIA operative-turned-expose-writer husband Fenwick Turner, who try to make life decisions while on a sabbatical voyage on the Chesapeake Bay (LJ 5/15/82). Read full review


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About the author (1982)

John Barth taught for many years in the writing program at Johns Hopkins University, and he lives in Chestertown, Maryland.

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