The Wife

The Wife

A Novel

Book - 2003
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Now a major motion picture from Sony Classics starring Glenn Close.

One of bestselling author Meg Wolitzer's most beloved books--an "acerbically funny" ( Entertainment Weekly ) and "intelligent...portrait of deception" ( The New York Times ).

The Wife is the story of the long and stormy marriage between a world-famous novelist, Joe Castleman, and his wife Joan, and the secret they've kept for decades. The novel opens just as Joe is about to receive a prestigious international award, The Helsinki Prize, to honor his career as one of America's preeminent novelists. Joan, who has spent forty years subjugating her own literary talents to fan the flames of his career, finally decides to stop.

Important and ambitious, The Wife is a sharp-eyed and compulsively readable story about a woman forced to confront the sacrifices she's made in order to achieve the life she thought she wanted. "A rollicking, perfectly pitched triumph...Wolitzer's talent for comedy of manners reaches a heady high" ( Los Angeles Times ), in this wise and candid look at the choices all men and women make--in marriage, work, and life.
Publisher: New York : Scribner, c2003
ISBN: 9781982106362
9780684869407
0684869403
9780743456661
Characteristics: 219 p. ; 22 cm

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r
rixonkj
Apr 24, 2018

This book is devastating. I've read quite a bit about how women's writing is suppressed, but analytic cultural criticism is one thing and a novel dealing with the same things is another. I read this book through in one sitting, horrified and transfixed. Joan Castleman is an intense character, morally complex and fully realized in a way that women characters are all-too-often not allowed to be. Joe Castleman, the husband, also feels authentic to me, like male writers I have known and loathed. The circumstances of their life together also felt fully realized and authentic in a way that made me furious--not at the book but at the world. Anyone who loves a female artist should read this book, as should anyone who as ever voiced an opinion about why there aren't more 'great' women writers--or 'great' women actors, painters, musicians, etc.

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macierules
Jan 27, 2018

A good read - soon to be released movie with Glenn Close.

b
Bonnie_Schultz
Aug 30, 2015

I enjoyed this book even though I wished that Wolitzer provided more depth to the characters. However, it was an entertaining satirical depiction of the post-WWII crowd of male authors (read Updike, Bellow, Cheever types) with huge egos along with prodigious skirt-chasing. The ending was a bit of a surprise to me and ultimately not believable, but I won't give it away. Wolitzer is a prolific, fun writer who tackles major issues (such as sexism and family dysfunction). I hope her writing matures into better character development.

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