Agnes Rossi Split Skirt

ISBN 13: 9780006546320

Split Skirt

3.16 avg rating
( 32 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780006546320: Split Skirt
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Two women who become unlikely cellmates in jail--Rita, arrested for drunk driving and cocaine possession, and Mrs. Tyler, a conservative shoplifter--share their stories, their dreams, and their lives over the course of three days together. 25,000 first printing.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

Humane fiction by a writer whose compassion runs widely and absorbs the reader. Rossi wrote the well-received The Quick: A Novella and Stories (1992). The title does not really tell much about this novel, pointing only to its sexual frankness. Two housewives spend a weekend together in jail, one for shoplifting, the other for drunk driving and a minor cocaine bust. If this is a turning point in both their lives, that's only suggested, because Rossi uses the moment to summarize how they have become who they are and refuses to nail down their futures. Quite well-to-do, middle-aged Mrs. Tyler cannot help her sprees of shoplifting; she's much like a drunk who is sober most of the time but goes on benders when anxieties crest and she needs emotional shoring up. Rita is the second wife of Alex; he has two children by his first wife and has fallen back in love with her. Rita feels treated like a mistress or girlfriend on the side. One payday night she goes out with the girls, gets drunk, coked up, nearly raped, then is arrested for drunk driving and possession. Serving her three-day sentence, she reveals her life to Mrs. Tyler, who reveals her own to Rita. Mrs. Tyler, against her husband's wishes, has determined to accept her weekend sentence without a fight, hoping that it will break her compulsion and somehow balance her husband's recent sins as a would-be middle-aged philanderer. Rita meanwhile gains a friend in Mrs. Tyler but loses her husband, who is not there to meet her when she's released. Rossi tenderly parts these entwined lives while refraining from highly charged moments or excessive stylization. She has all the gifts and now must seek an absolutely personal voice that stamps a page as her own. -- Copyright ©1994, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

This uneven novel by the author of The Quick spans three days in the lives of two New Jersey women. Incensed over her boss's ban on split skirts in the office, 29-year-old, tough-mouthed Rita goes out to a bar and is arrested for drunk driving and cocaine possession. When middle-aged Mrs. Tyler refuses to allow her wealthy husband to bail her out of yet another shoplifiting charge, she ends up sharing Rita's jail cell. Examining their lives and marriages, the women find that their problems are remarkably similar despite outward differences. The ensuing first-person flashbacks combined with reluctant affirmations of sisterhood and friendship are, at times, compelling, but--in the manner of daytime soaps--often predictable. Particularly hackneyed is a subplot in which Rita and Mrs. Tyler have a heartwarming encounter with two Puerto Rican prostitutes. By depriving Rita of a surname and Mrs. Tyler of a given name, Rossi adds an artificial note to an already schematic plot. Having opted for quirky character portrayal rather than hard-edged reality, she succeeds in transforming a potentially disturbing fictional setting into a literary comfort zone.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780679425434: Split Skirt

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0679425438 ISBN 13:  9780679425434
Publisher: Random House, 1994
Hardcover

9780517156025: Split Skirt

Random..., 1995
Hardcover

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Agnes Rossi
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