An Available Man: A Novel

Wolitzer, Hilma

ISBN 10: 1609987519 / ISBN 13: 9781609987510
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Former library audio book. Will have library markings and stickers and possibly no inserts. Plays perfectly. Bookseller Inventory #

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Synopsis: When Edward Schuyler, a modest and bookish sixty-two-year-old science teacher, is widowed, he finds himself ambushed by female attention. There are plenty of unattached women around, but a healthy, handsome, available man is a rare and desirable creature. Edward receives phone calls from widows seeking love, or at least lunch, while well-meaning friends try to set him up at dinner parties. Even an attractive married neighbor offers herself to him. The problem is that Edward doesnt feel available. Hes still mourning his beloved wife, Bee, and prefers solitude and the familiar routine of work, gardening, and bird-watching. But then his stepchildren surprise him by placing a personal ad in the New York Review of Books on his behalf. Soon the letters flood in, and Edward is torn between his loyalty to Bees memory and his growing longing for connection. Gradually, reluctantly, he begins dating (dating after death, as one correspondent puts it), and his encounters are variously startling, comical, and sad. Just when Edward thinks he has the game figured out, a chance meeting proves that love always arrives when its least expected.

Review: Mary Gordon Reviews An Available Man

Mary Gordon is the author of six previous novels, two memoirs, a short-story collection, and Reading Jesus, a work of nonfiction. She has received many honors, among them a Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Writers' Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an O. Henry Award, an Academy Award for Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and the Story Prize. She is the State Writer of New York. Gordon teaches at Barnard College and lives in New York City.

A widower in his sixties: healthy, solvent, with almost all his hair. Potentially a subject for satire or impatient, knowing ironies. But Edward Schuyler doesn't get this harsh treatment from Hilma Wolitzer. An Available Man is a triumph of tender observation: wry, compassionate, literate, and often very very funny.

Edward Schuyler, a devoted high school science teacher, finds himself radically bereft when his beloved wife, Bee, dies after a painful illness. With great delicacy, Wolitzer limns the outlines of the paralyzing grief that accompanies the loss of a great love.

But the world has a limited appetite for extended grief. Everyone urges him to move on--and by moving on they mean dating. His step-children, who are devoted to him, place an ad in the New York Review of Books. The results of this ad are the occasion for Wolitzer’s most delicious observations. "'Sensual, smart, stunning, sensitive.' Oh, why do they always resort to alliteration...This one's a music lover? Well, who doesn't like music, besides the Taliban? 'Searching for that special someone to share Bach, Brecht, and breakfast.' When they’ll probably eat bagels, bacon, and brussels sprouts."

Some of the book's most searingly poignant moments trace the darker side of mature matchmaking (maybe alliteration's catching.) There is the grieving widow whose house is a shrine to her dead husband...and whose life is a living mausoleum. There is the seventy-something plastic surgery addict who confesses to a desperate search for an impossibly vanished youth. And then there is Edward's former love, who left him at the altar, who turns out to be...well, still crazy after all these years.

The richness of the book can be accounted for in no small part, however, by Wolitzer's evocation of the mixture of emptiness and fullness that is Edward's life. He has his students, he's a birder, he has friends, he's a devoted stepfather...and the owner of an increasingly ailing, aging dog.

We never fail to root for Edward, and we and he are both rewarded by a sweet and satisfying end: a well earned coda to a novel that sheds a lovely, sometimes bittersweet, but finally hopeful light on one of the important ways we live now.

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Title: An Available Man: A Novel
Binding: No binding
Book Condition: Good

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Wolitzer, Hilma
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Book Description AudioGO, 2012. Audio CD. Condition: Very Good. 7 NEW AUDIO CDs. You will receive BRAND NEW AUDIO CDs sealed in the Shrink Wrap. Just a bit of shelf wear. Gift quality Audio CDs for your home and library. Enjoy this NEW AUDIO CD performance. Audio Book. Seller Inventory # 08012016177

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Book Description AudioGo, 2012. CD-Audio. Condition: New. Unabridged. Language: English . Brand New. When Edward Schuyler, a modest and bookish sixty-two-year-old science teacher, is widowed, he finds himself ambushed by female attention. There are plenty of unattached women around, but a healthy, handsome, available man is a rare and desirable creature. Edward receives phone calls from widows seeking love, or at least lunch, while well-meaning friends try to set him up at dinner parties. Even an attractive married neighbor offers herself to him. The problem is that Edward doesn t feel available. He s still mourning his beloved wife, Bee, and prefers solitude and the familiar routine of work, gardening, and bird-watching. But then his stepchildren surprise him by placing a personal ad in the New York Review of Books on his behalf. Soon the letters flood in, and Edward is torn between his loyalty to Bee s memory and his growing longing for connection. Gradually, reluctantly, he begins dating ( dating after death, as one correspondent puts it), and his encounters are variously startling, comical, and sad. Just when Edward thinks he has the game figured out, a chance meeting proves that love always arrives when it s least expected. Seller Inventory # AAS9781609987510

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Book Description Audiogo, 2012. Audio Book on CD. Condition: New. 1 Still in shrinkwrap. This audio book is brand new and comes sealed in original retail box. Never used or opened. ; 5.90 X 5.10 X 1.10 inches; 1 pages. Seller Inventory # 060615-151-214

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Book Description 2012. CD. Condition: New. New Audiobook. Shipped from US within 10 to 14 business days. Established seller since 2000. Seller Inventory # KF-9781609987510

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