The Nightingales of Troy: Stories of One Family's Century

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W. W. Norton & Company, 2008 - Fiction - 254 pages
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In 1908, Mamie Garrahan faces childbirth aided by her arsenic-eating sister-in-law Kitty, a nun who grows opium poppies, and a doctor who prescribes Bayer Heroin. "In the twentieth century, I believe there are no saints left," Mamie remarks. But her daughters and granddaughter test this notion with far-reaching consequences. Kitty's arsenic reappears sixty years later in the hands of her distraught niece. A schoolgirl's passion for the Beatles and Melville—a passion both lonely and funny—shapes her life. Each decade is illuminated by endearingly eccentric characters: an anorexic waitress falls for a wealthy college boy in the jazz age...an exuberant young nurse questions science during the Depression...a homely seamstress designs a scandalous dress in the 1950s. The Nightingales of Troy, the first fiction collection by an acclaimed American poet, creates a vividly palpable sense of time and place. Alice Fulton's memorable characters confront the deepest dilemmas with bravery and abiding love.
 

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The nightingales of Troy: stories of one family's century

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Set in Troy, NY, this debut novel by acclaimed poet Fulton uses ten linked stories to show how the Garrahan women have struggled with triumph and tragedy over a century. Mamie Flynn Garrahan has five ... Read full review

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Contents

19081909 Mamie Flynn Garrahan
11
1919 Peg Flynn
34
1925 Charlotte Garrahan
50
Annie Garrahan
69
1947 Edna Garrahan Kelly Dorothy Garrahan
109
1956 Charlotte Garrahan Willoughby
132
1966 Ruth Livingston
149
19721974 Edna Garrahan Kelly OKeefe
178
Ruth Livingston
194
1999 Ruth Livingston Annie Garrahan Livingston
229
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
253
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About the author (2008)

Alice Fulton’s honors include a MacArthur Fellowship, the Bobbitt National Prize for Poetry, and an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award in Literature. Fulton is the Ann S. Bowers Professor of English at Cornell University and lives in Ithaca, New York.

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