Literature Keith Maillard Gloria: A Novel

ISBN 13: 9780060935979

Gloria: A Novel

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9780060935979: Gloria: A Novel

Gloria, a recent college graduate, class of '57, has everything a girl could want. Expected to make a brilliant marriage to a wealthy but conventional man, Gloria finds herself torn between society's expectations and her own search for a future that is both passionate and fulfilling. Her quest uncovers the intensity of desires, the gift of intellectual accomplishment, and the surprising power of friendship.

Gloria is a vivid and intimate portrayal of a privileged yet claustrophobic world, where conflicting expectations for women foreshadow an impending revolution. Gloria Cotter, in her last summer at home before setting out for the larger world, must find her way into an unimaginable future.

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About the Author:

Keith Maillard was born and raised in Wheeling, West Virginia, the inspiration for the fictional town of Raysburg in which his novel, Gloria, is set. Five of his previous seven novels also take place there. He now lives in Vancouver with his wife and two daughters and teaches creative writing at the University of British Columbia.

From Publishers Weekly:

Gloria Merriman Cotter is a smart upper-class girl caught in the restrictive social mores of late 1950s America and torn between conformity and self-realization. Maillard (Light in the Company of Women) tenderly and meticulously charts his heroine's struggle to alternately fit in, stand out and not disappoint anybody, least of all herself. Gloria spends her last summer at home, between college and graduate school, when she returns to the country club crowd of Raysburg, a small West Virginia steel town. The daughter of a self-made executive and a misplaced New England society matron, Gloria knows she's expected to marry the right sort of man. Does that mean that her dream of grad school at Columbia University to study poetry with Lionel Trilling is doomed? With insight and clarity, Maillard illuminates the confused, complex, sometimes trivial but always heartfelt thoughts of a young woman trying to fathom her place in the world. Traumatized by cruel classmates at boarding school, Gloria begins high school desperate to appear "normal," an enterprise guided by the voice in her head that she calls "secret watcher." Doggedly, she remakes herself, skillfully plotting her rise to cheerleader and then prom queen. She feels like an impostor, however, because under her carefully crafted disguise of crinolines and curled eyelashes, Gloria is a brilliant, intellectual bookworm. At Briarville College, she is torn between her sorority's finicky rules and her desire to be taken seriously as a poetry scholar. Maillard's precise prose weaves the long, meandering story together admirably, though the details, particularly of her fashion dilemmas, can be monotonous. Yet most of the subplots, notably the passage of Gloria's parents into midlife, propel the story and give context for Gloria's journey. After following Gloria through her tough coming-of-age, readers will wonder what happens to this resourceful but consummate good girl, in her high heels, girdle and kid gloves, when she enters Columbia on the cusp of the '60s. Major ad/promo. (Sept.)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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