Joan Wickersham The Paper Anniversary

ISBN 13: 9780670840649

The Paper Anniversary

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9780670840649: The Paper Anniversary
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Newly married and miserable, Jack and Maisie find that their commuter marriage--he working in Maine, she in Manhattan--is taking a toll on their relationship. A first novel. 25,000 first printing. $20,000 ad/promo.

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From Kirkus Reviews:

A first novel that explores with humor and depth the on-and- off marriage of two confused young Ivy Leaguers. Clever, flighty Maisie--the daughter of a dance instructor who died when Maisie was young and a mother who worked as a secretary in Virginia--has lived for the day when she could flee to Harvard and the glamorous urban life she was sure lay ahead. There, Maisie meets a boy she believes might fulfill her dreams--Jack, the staid son of a french-fry-factory owner and a Harvard man by birth. When Jack's father dies and Jack feels compelled to return home to dreary Champs du Soleil, Maine, to take care of the factory, Maisie marries him--despite serious qualms that she could be signing away her life before it's even begun. Months later, when Jack shows no signs of selling the factory, Maisie panics and escapes again--this time to a girlfriend's apartment in New York. Officially, Maisie is there temporarily for the sake of her career, and she throws herself into the role of half of a glamorously commuting professional couple, working as an editorial assistant while Jack tackles the decidedly unglamorous problems of french-fry manufacture. Months pass with few visits between New York and Maine, and Maisie tumbles inexorably toward a few pointless affairs, while Jack is drawn toward his advertising rep, who's as stable and predictable as himself. Guilt-ridden over their betrayals, estranged and uncertain about their future, Jack and Maisie try a formal separation--only to learn that without one another life lacks spark and focus. Older and wiser, Maisie forgets her dreams of a glamorous life and Jack gives up his factory, and the two meet halfway--in Boston--to make a family together. A sweet, penetrating look at young love--and an unusually well-crafted debut. -- Copyright ©1993, Kirkus Associates, LP. All rights reserved.

From Publishers Weekly:

The depiction of a young couple's troubled marriage in this wry, candid and often beguiling first novel depends more on accrued detail than controlled plot and character development. Maisie and Jack Eldridge's first (paper) anniversary has been particularly difficult: Maisie is working in a menial publishing job in New York, Jack has returned to Maine to manage the family french fry business following the death of his father. Although it is Maisie who asks for an informal separation, it is Jack who lands the first serious and rewarding extramarital romance. When Maisie wants to return to the security of her marriage, it is all but over in Jack's heart. Although they do eventually grow more mature during their awkward dance-around separation/reunion, lovers and family are bruised in the process. Uneven pacing is a problem here: after the slow motion ping-pong of the first three quarters of the novel, the plot erupts with surprises, but they seem gratuitous and artificial. Wickersham, whose short fiction has appeared in The Best American Short Stories , has keen powers of observation: the locals' pronunciation of Jack's hometown (Champs du Soleil) as "ShamDOOsly," for example. Most significantly, however, her tolerance and compassionate understanding of her characters' faults and foibles gives her novel a distinctive voice. 25,000 first printing.
Copyright 1993 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780671890711: The Paper Anniversary

Featured Edition

ISBN 10:  0671890719 ISBN 13:  9780671890711
Publisher: Gallery Books, 1995
Softcover

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