The rest of life: three novellas

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Penguin Books, Aug 3, 1994 - Fiction - 257 pages
2 Reviews
Mary Gordon's luminous new fiction introduces three women, each of whom tells the story of the lover who altered her life. In Immaculate Man, a social worker in her forties whose specialty is battered women becomes the lover of a priest. He has never desired a woman until, at forty-three, he desires her, makes love to her, uses his holy hands to touch her. She teaches Father Clement the language of the flesh; he teaches her the language of the Church - once foreign to her. In Living at Home, he is an Italian foreign correspondent, she a psychiatrist who cares for autistic children. He is a man who wants nothing but the woman's body and the sanctuary of their house - until he is seized by news of another revolution, another famine or plague, another destination. And in The Rest of Life, the woman is returning to Turin, the northern Italian town she fled sixty-three years earlier. She was fifteen then; her lover was sixteen. They were rebels, romantics, intellectuals, and they decided to shoot themselves. She chose to live. These three beautifully rendered novellas illuminate the elliptical combination of carnal and spiritual desire in all lives. In stunning prose, Mary Gordon measures the power of the place in which love resides, the way that place shrinks or expands - and is fortified. Rest of Life, Gordon's sixth work of fiction, incantatory in its evocation of love. This is her most radiant and powerful writing.

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User Review  - bluepigeon - LibraryThing

Three stories, three women, three men who made a difference, good or bad, in their lives... That's probably the best explanation for this book. I would probably modify it a bit; something like: Three ... Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - chrisblocker - LibraryThing

The Rest of Life is comprised of three novellas. They may as well be one. There is such a strong similarity in these stories of a woman, the lover she changed and the love that changed her. Which ... Read full review

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About the author (1994)

Edmund Wilson (1895-1972) was a novelist, memoirist, playwright, journalist, poet, and editor but it is as a literary critic that he is most highly regarded.
Mary Gordon's most recent novel is "Spending."

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