Hey Harry, Hey Matilda: A Novel

2.62 avg rating
( 551 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780385541671: Hey Harry, Hey Matilda: A Novel

Hey Harry, Hey Matilda is the story—told entirely in hilarious emails—of fraternal twins Harry and Matilda Goodman as they fumble into adulthood, telling lies and keeping secrets, and finally confronting their complicated twinship.

Matilda Goodman is an underemployed wedding photographer grappling with her failure to live as an artist and the very bad lie she has told her boyfriend (that she has a dead twin). Harry, her (totally alive) brother, is an untenured professor of literature, anxiously contemplating his publishing status (unpublished) and sleeping with a student. When Matilda invites her boyfriend home for Thanksgiving to meet the family, and when Harry makes a desperate—and unethical—move to save his career, they set off an avalanche of shame, scandal, and drunken hot tub revelations that force them to examine the truth about who they really are. A wonderfully subversive, sensitive novel of romantic entanglement and misguided ambition, Hey Harry, Hey Matilda is a joyful look at love and family in all its forms.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

RACHEL HULIN is a writer and photographer. Her personal essays and writing about photography have appeared in Rolling Stone, Nerve, Radar Magazine, Huffington Post, and The Daily Beast. Her photography book, Flying Henry, was released by PowerHouse Books in 2013. Her work has been shown at Jen Bekman Gallery, the Bronx Museum of the Arts, Wallspace Gallery, and the New York Photo Festival, among others. Hulin has lectured about her own work, professional practices, and about the role of social media in photography at ICP, SVA, Parsons, Brown University, RISD,and MIAD. Editorial photography clients include Martha Stewart Living, Country Living, Whole Foods Magazine, and Fitness Magazine. Hulin has a BA from Brown University and an MA from NYU. She is represented by ClampArt Gallery in New York. She lives with her husband and two children in Providence, Rhode Island.

http://www.rachelhulin.com

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Hey Harry,

Today was kind of a wash. I spent fifteen minutes on hold with my bank before I pounded enough 00000000s into the phone to connect me to a real person. I was convinced this fraudulent entity called SBUX on my statement was slowly and erroneously taking money out of my account in $4 and $5 increments. I was extremely put out that I had to spend my time dealing with this. I was really outraged.

It turns out SBUX is Starbucks. I had to hang up on the customer service lady because she was being smug.

Unrelated: Did you know “Pomeranian” is an adjective referring to Pomerania, an area divided between Poland and Germany? Maybe that’s why Pomeranians look so much like Grandma.

.

Hey Matilda,

Life is logistics. You’ve got to learn to deal with these daily annoyances, Mat. You’re too hard done by.

Me, I make lists. You should make a list each morning and then follow it carefully.

.

Hey Harry,

I just put three hundred Christmas lights (so cheap off-­season!) on a tree that’s barely three feet high. If I look at it and then look away quickly, little dots swim across my field of vision. It’s pretty excellent. In other news, the lady across the street keeps her blinds about twelve inches raised, so that when she’s just out of the shower and her lights are on, I can see the swath of her upper thigh to her lower abdomen, and her pubic hair is a wild, distracting show. It’s like the classic ’70s pubic hair that you just don’t see anymore.

The Brazilian bikini wax craze has had a really pervasive and detrimental effect on vaginas, Harry. This kind of thing is a rare occurrence.

Needless to say, I’m tremendously visually inspired right now. What’s new with you?

(Don’t tell Mom about the tree.)

.

Hey Matilda,

Two resounding thoughts from my weekend.

One: There was a woman in the newspaper saying she doesn’t like French-­kissing. This has caused problems in her marriage, but she just can’t bring herself to do it. I feel somewhat vindicated by this. But I won’t say I told you so.

Two: I watched basketball for a while on TV and had the realization that fouls are bad, not good! You don’t actually want to make them. That clears some things up for me about seventh-­grade gym.

Anyway, that’s all for today—­I’m off to grade some disappointing papers.

.

Hey Harry,

I don’t remember you telling me you don’t like French-­kissing, but I’ll let you tacitly tell me so. I just got home and these were the contents of my mailbox, so I made a list. I don’t like what this says about me, it doesn’t seem true.

A. Two Ivy League alumni magazines

B. Two New Yorkers

C. Two New York magazines

D. One Economist magazine

E. Two artist residency rejections

Then I had to have some bourbon.

.

Hey Matilda,

The boyfriend reads the Economist? I give you two seven more months at the outside.

I’m sorry you’ve forgotten that I don’t like kissing, but I’m sure you do remember that I like to get all my important correspondence out to folks on Tuesday mornings, as that’s when they’re most likely to read and respond. Tuesday between 10 and 11 a.m. After coffee, before lunch haze. So hopefully I have your full attention right now.

I think you’re having bad luck, to be sure, with this residency stuff, but I also think your energy isn’t in the right place. I just read this great book called Flow: The Psychology of Optimal Experience. It teaches how, by ordering the information that enters our consciousness, we can discover true happiness and greatly improve the quality of our lives.

Try it, M. Here are some chapter headers:

The Waste of Free Time

The Rules of the Games of the Mind

Flow through the Senses: The Joys of Seeing

Disorder in Consciousness: Psychic Entropy

Now go make some work! Make, make, create! Don’t analyze it, and don’t yell at bank operators.

Also: I saw an undergrad with a bowl cut and high striped socks on campus today, and it reminded me of you in your field hockey glory. You know, sports are a flow activity, too.

One more thing, Matilda—­bird-­watching is also a flow activity. You can get iBird Explorer for your mobile device. Then you can identify birds.

And lay off the bourbon, please.

.

Hey Harry,

Great tip on the bird-­watching. Remind me again when I’m fifty and live in backwoods Maine.

And keep your eyes off those coeds.

.

Hey Matilda,

I remembered where I got the bit about creating and not analyzing—­from John Cage’s Rules for Students and Teachers:

Rule #8: Do not try to create and analyze at the same time. They are different processes.

Do you know what rule #9 is?

Rule #9: Be happy whenever you can manage it. Enjoy yourself. It is lighter than you think.

I tell this one to my students all the time.

.

Hey Harry,

#9 is a made-­up lie. Do your students call you on it?

I fell asleep with my headphones on last night. I woke up with my music still blaring, in a cold sweat. The lyrics I woke up to were about terror and stagnation:

You don’t really care about the trials of tomorrow

Rather lay awake in a bed full of sorrow

Do you ever feel like the universe is giving us hints about our future all the time but we’re unable to understand?

.

Hey Matilda,

I think these signs happen more often to you than to the rest of us.

.

Hey Harry,

I think you’re right. I get the signs but not the message. I’m like a highly attuned, extremely useless oracle. I’m surprised you’re lacking this ability, Harry. Our twin genome is failing you. I wish we were exactly the same, but you got that pesky Y.

Guess what? I found out today the head of my old grad school art program has retired and taken a job as a real estate broker. Compared to that, wedding photography doesn’t seem so bad. At least it’s a stone’s throw from actual art. A groom even told me last week “don’t hesitate to be artistic.”

.

Hey Matilda,

It could definitely be worse. I like to remind myself that teaching writing is highly related to actual writing.

.

Hey Harry,

Yes, teaching writing is perhaps the gateway to writing! You should probably write something, though, to prove the rule.

.

Matilda,

Oh, I’m writing all the time. Just mostly in my head.

.

Harry,

If I looked on the bright side, my thinking would go like this: It’s a good thing that I accidentally grabbed the laxatives instead of the ibuprofen this morning, because now my system is cleaner than it has ever been at 3 p.m. on a Wednesday, and I can eat some extra veggie burger because I’ve cleared room for it.

If I looked on the dark side, my thinking would go like this: This bride thinks I’m a drugged-­out freak because I keep running to the bathroom during our business meeting, and not only will I not book this job, but I’ll have to skip my dinner date* too because it may be OK to take three ibuprofens but three natural and good-­for-­you laxative tablets take a full twenty-­four hours to churn through.

*Which was my idea to bring romance back into my relationship and now will seem like “poor follow-­through,” one of my major issues, according to him.

You wouldn’t believe this bride, Harry. Her name is Catherine and she’s marrying someone named William! I think she was affecting a British accent to capitalize on the coincidence. She gave me relationship advice, too. Told me to ditch the boyfriend and wait until I’m ovulating (only she called it being in heat, like a cat, because we’re all mammals after all) and then go to an expensive bar with good clientele and wait for men to approach me. She said that hormones always work.

Groundbreaking advice. We ARE all mammals. Mammals who will mate and then die, never to return. Only our spawn will remember us. Until they also die.

.

Hey Matilda,

I just got back from the Poconos for my men’s retreat. The Poconos strike me as very Jewish, but the experience was goyish. Far too many Utz and Kraft products were being bandied about. Remember the Lenny Bruce thing from the seventies? Here it is in case you forgot.

Jewish and Goyish

Dig: I’m Jewish. Count Basie’s Jewish. Ray Charles is Jewish. Eddie Cantor’s goyish. B’nai B’rith is goyish; Hadassah, Jewish.

If you live in New York or any other big city, you are Jewish. It doesn’t matter even if you’re Catholic; if you live in New York, you’re Jewish. If you live in Butte, Montana, you’re going to be goyish even if you’re Jewish.

Kool-­Aid is goyish. Evaporated milk is goyish even if the Jews invented it. Chocolate is Jewish and fudge is goyish. Fruit salad is Jewish. Lime Jell-­O is goyish. Lime soda is very goyish.

All Drake’s Cakes are goyish. Pumpernickel is Jewish and, as you know, white bread is very goyish. Instant potatoes, goyish. Black cherry soda’s very Jewish, macaroons are very Jewish.

Underwear is definitely goyish. Balls are goyish. Titties are Jewish.

Celebrate is a goyish word. Observe is a Jewish word. Mr. and Mrs. Walsh are celebrating Christmas with Major Thomas Moreland, USAF (ret.), while Mr. and Mrs. Bromberg observed Hanukkah with Goldie and Arthur Schindler from Kiamesha, New York.

—Lenny Bruce

PS Why don’t people say “dig” anymore? I’m going to take it up.

.

Hey Harry,

I feel like you need to be fifty and just off your second failed marriage before you even consider going on a men’s retreat, but we’ve been over this.

I do like Lenny Bruce. If I’m not mistaken, he is dead like all the good poets and artists and the rest of us (eventually). I’ve made a Jewish and goyish version of this in honor of my brides:

Dig: I’m Jewish. Tents are Jewish, banquet halls, goyish.

If you make a long toast, give wet lipstick kisses, or have chair dancing at your wedding, you’re Jewish. If you’re married in Newport, RI, you’re going to be goyish even if you’re Jewish.

Fondant icing is goyish. Manischewitz is goyish even though the Jews invented it. Prosecco is Jewish and champagne is goyish. Seltzer is Jewish. Jägermeister is goyish. Shots of Jäger are very goyish.

All veils are goyish. Pantyhose are Jewish. Stockings are Jewish. (But if you call them nylons, they’re goyish.) Bridesmaids are goyish. Maids of honor, Jewish. Ring bearers are goyish, dog ring bearers very goyish.

Sobbing fathers are all Jews. Mothers dabbing their eyes are goyish. Bands are Jewish. DJs are goyish, even if they play Paul Simon.

Vests are definitely goyish. Bow ties are Jewish. Garter belts, Jewish.

“Wedding” is goyish. “Marriage” is Jewish.

Film is Jewish. Digital: goyish. Video: extremely goyish.

Mr. and Mrs. John Paul Bradley are pleased to announce the wedding of their children.

Mr. Max Hirsch and Mrs. Rose Beckerman request the honor of your presence at the marriage of their daughter.

.

Hey Matilda—­

Well done.

.

Hey Harry,

Thanks. You know I enjoy praise from the internet.

I think I’ll purchase www.praisefromtheinternet.com and each day put up an encouraging thought. E.g.:

Good job!

Keep going!

You have exceptionally nice hair and teeth.

Da Vinci was underrecognized once, too.

Wouldn’t that be good for the world?

.

Hey Matilda,

It would be. I might add:

There’s still time to be famous!

You’ll definitely get tenure, don’t give it a moment’s thought!

.

Hey Harry,

Home-­front malaise. I painted the hallway a delightful buttercup yellow this weekend, and Nate showed not the slightest interest in joining in the improvements. Haven’t you seen the paint commercials? The dads and boyfriends ALWAYS help. They LEAD, even.

.

Hey Matilda,

I’m always surprised when I see the undergrads on campus moving into their dorms with diligent fathers towing their dressers and duffels. Seems like an alternate world of responsible men, it’s quite foreign. Speaking of, have you heard from him lately?

.

Hey Harry,

Oh yes, we had our quarterly email exchange about death and futility.

.

Hey Matilda,

Share please.

.

Hey Harry,

Hi Matilda! I was just looking at a picture of a retirement home on the seashore. I imagined myself there in 30 years. I’ll be almost 95. Then I thought, “Wow, Matilda will be 62!” I imagined you as aged as I am now. Then I had to write to you—­before you get any older!

I was moved by our conversation a few months back at Grandma’s. It was deep—­psychologically and spiritually. Love, death, the possibility of human choice in our lives. We were on the same wavelength. I said how choosing one path meant we lost forever all the other possibilities foregone. You said, “Yeah, it’s like dying!” When I thought back later on this, I laughed heartily. I recognized your response as what I often say as well. It’s genetic! Amazing, and wonderful. I’m so happy you are alive on this earth!!!

.

Hey Matilda,

Ah, that’s a good one, thanks.

.

Hey Harry,

Yep.

Also: why is it so cold outside?

I’ve been a little aimless of late, or maybe just distracted by the nippy air. I don’t want to put on pants again. I can’t leave the house.

I need to locate the midpoint between a loafer and a boot. What are you up to?

.

Hey Matilda,

Nothing much doing here. Grading papers. I went ahead and bought that online genetic test I told you about—­the price went down to $99, so I figured it was worth it. It will give the part of me that was good at high school biology a little thrill, I think.

It’s pretty amazing what science can tell us about our ancestry now. I’m so curious to imagine what our forebears were up to—­maybe it’s the writer in me, but I find it totally fascinating. It’s so odd that most people don’t know anything about even two generations back.

.

Hey Harry,

That just shows you how quickly our own grandchildren will cease to give two shits about us. Maybe that’s why Grandma is so intense.

Will this test tell you if you (but mostly I) will die early of cancer? I maintain a lingering and not-­insignificant fear that I will die early of Mother’s breast cancer, or will it be Grandpa’s Alzheimer’s? If I start thinking too much about it I can’t breathe right.

You know—­I don’t even know my blood type, which is a tragedy because I can’t do the blood-­type diet. Although periodically I read the rules of each diet and decide which one sounds like me and then I fantasize about the diet I should be on to give me lots of energy and lifepurpose™. I think I should be a B-­type blood, because those are the folks who can eat cheese, lots of it.

.

"About this title" may belong to another edition of this title.

Top Search Results from the AbeBooks Marketplace

1.

Hulin, Rachel
Published by Doubleday, NY (2017)
ISBN 10: 0385541678 ISBN 13: 9780385541671
New Hardcover First Edition Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Valley Books
(Amherst, MA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Doubleday, NY, 2017. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First Printing. 276pp. Review copy with publisher's promotional material laid-in. Size: 8vo - over 7¾" - 9¾". Bookseller Inventory # 076216

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 4.76
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.95
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

2.

HULIN, RACHEL
Published by Penguin Random House
ISBN 10: 0385541678 ISBN 13: 9780385541671
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
INDOO
(Avenel, NJ, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Penguin Random House. Book Condition: New. Brand New. Bookseller Inventory # 0385541678

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 15.09
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.50
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

3.

Hulin, Rachel
ISBN 10: 0385541678 ISBN 13: 9780385541671
New Quantity Available: > 20
Seller:
Paperbackshop-US
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description 2017. HRD. Book Condition: New. New Book. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # VR-9780385541671

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 14.64
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

4.

Hulin, Rachel
ISBN 10: 0385541678 ISBN 13: 9780385541671
New Quantity Available: 4
Seller:
Pbshop
(Wood Dale, IL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description 2017. HRD. Book Condition: New. New Book.Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Bookseller Inventory # IB-9780385541671

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 14.94
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 3.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

5.

Hulin, Rachel
Published by Doubleday Books 1/17/2017 (2017)
ISBN 10: 0385541678 ISBN 13: 9780385541671
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 6
Seller:
BargainBookStores
(Grand Rapids, MI, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Doubleday Books 1/17/2017, 2017. Hardback or Cased Book. Book Condition: New. Hey Harry, Hey Matilda. Book. Bookseller Inventory # BBS-9780385541671

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 19.97
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

6.

Hulin, Rachel
Published by Doubleday
ISBN 10: 0385541678 ISBN 13: 9780385541671
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
BookShop4U
(PHILADELPHIA, PA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Doubleday. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0385541678. Bookseller Inventory # Z0385541678ZN

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 20.54
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

7.

Hulin, Rachel
Published by Doubleday
ISBN 10: 0385541678 ISBN 13: 9780385541671
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Bookhouse COM LLC
(Philadelphia, PA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Doubleday. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0385541678. Bookseller Inventory # Z0385541678ZN

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 20.54
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

8.

Hulin, Rachel
Published by Doubleday
ISBN 10: 0385541678 ISBN 13: 9780385541671
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 1
Seller:
Vital Products COM LLC
(Southampton, PA, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Doubleday. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. 0385541678. Bookseller Inventory # Z0385541678ZN

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 20.54
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

9.

Hulin, Rachel
ISBN 10: 0385541678 ISBN 13: 9780385541671
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 3
Seller:
VNHM SHOP
(Pompano Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Hey Harry, Hey Matilda is the story—told entirely in hilarious emails—of fraternal twins Harry and Matilda Goodman as they fumble into adulthood, telling lies and keeping secrets, and finally confronting their complicated twinship. Matilda Goodman is an underemployed wedding photographer grappling with her failure to live as an artist and the very bad lie she has told her boyfriend (that she has a dead twin). Harry, her (totally alive) brother, is an untenured professor of literature, anxiously contemplating his publishing status (unpublished) and sleeping with a student. When Matilda invites her boyfriend home for Thanksgiving to meet the family, and when Harry makes a desperate—and unethical—move to save his career, they set off an avalanche of shame, scandal, and drunken hot tub revelations that force them to examine the truth about who they really are. A wonderfully subversive, sensitive novel of romantic entanglement and misguided ambition, Hey Harry, Hey Matilda is a joyful look at love and family in all its forms. Bookseller Inventory # 5640073

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 20.67
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: FREE
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

10.

Hulin, Rachel
Published by Doubleday (2017)
ISBN 10: 0385541678 ISBN 13: 9780385541671
New Hardcover Quantity Available: 5
Seller:
Murray Media
(North Miami Beach, FL, U.S.A.)
Rating
[?]

Book Description Doubleday, 2017. Hardcover. Book Condition: New. Never used!. Bookseller Inventory # 0385541678

More Information About This Seller | Ask Bookseller a Question

Buy New
US$ 19.09
Convert Currency

Add to Basket

Shipping: US$ 1.99
Within U.S.A.
Destination, Rates & Speeds

There are more copies of this book

View all search results for this book