Braided Lives: A Novel

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PM Press, Sep 1, 2013 - Fiction - 437 pages
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Jill and Donna are cousins and lifelong best friends but could not be more different. Despite their contrasting characters, fiercely independent, dark, street-smart Jill and pretty, blond, alluring Donna are very close, attending college together in Ann Arbor and then moving to New York City after graduation. Ultimately veering onto different life paths, they both experience love, betrayal, friendship, pain, independence, and fear. Though their fates differ as widely as their personalities, both reflect the danger that sex poses for women during a time in which abortions are illegal: an affair could destroy a woman’s life, and a chance encounter or a night of love could be a matter of life and death. Spanning 20 years and teeming with vivid characters, this poignant novel tells the powerful, unsentimental story of two young women coming of age in a time of enormous social upheaval.
 

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User Review  - Larou - LibraryThing

This is the story of the friendship between two women, a friendship that starts when they are girls and lasts over decades, following their braided lives as one marries and becomes the wife of a rich ... Read full review

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User Review  - kassandraj - LibraryThing

This book is incredibly open and real, which at points was overwhelming. I have been carrying it's intensity around with me for the last day or so, which tells me that it is truly a great work. It has ... Read full review

Selected pages

Contents

Introduction
1
In Which Jell Forces Herself on Herself and Begins
5
The Cowbird Egg in the Eagles Nest
16
A Round of Paints
29
Wherein We Learn That Snow Leopards Bare Many Tales
38
What Women Are Made For
46
The Darkest Night of the Year
57
In Which Poet Meets Poet and Words Are Exchanged
67
Any Storm in a Port
209
Chicken Potpie and the Pastel Egg
218
Le déjeuner sur lherbe
232
Game Called on Account of Pain
244
What Is Taken and What Is Taken Away
261
Old Alliances Waver and New Alliances Form
272
Of the City of Brotherly Love
283
Procrastination Must Be a Genetic Trait
292

The Temptation of Saint Jill
77
In Which Jill Considers the Teeth of the Lion
83
Life Goes to a Party
93
Hot Pastrami of Wry
103
the Round World and the Hidden Place
114
The Worm in Edens Apple
127
Its a Good Sign When a Boy Takes You to Meet His Mother
134
What the Tea Leaves Said
144
Jill Witnesses a Joust
156
In Which Nothing Becomes Something and Something Becomes Everything
164
The Agon
171
Hardscrabble Year
183
In Which Both Jill and Donna Try a Change of Altitude
194
On Various Kinds of Separations
202
Donna Calls It Slumming Jill Calls It DownHome
304
At the Center of Fear Exhilaration
317
In the Snow Kings Palace
329
Whats White and Falls Whats Black and Stays
339
In Your Commencement Is Your Ending
346
A Life Alone Is Not Necessarily Lonely
362
One Two Three Many
374
Till Someone Takes It Off You Dont Know Theres a Lid
387
The Three Legged Race
399
Of Champagne and Blood
409
Crazy Is as Crazy Does
424
About the Author
439
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About the author (2013)

Marge Piercy is the author of 17 novels, including Dance the Eagle to SleepGone to Soldiers, Vida, and Woman on the Edge of Time; numerous volumes of poetry; and a critically acclaimed memoir, Sleeping with Cats. She is the recipient of four honorary doctorates and has been a key player in many of the major progressive political battles of our time. She lives in Wellfleet, Massachusetts.

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