Divorcing

(Author) (Introduction by)
Available

Product Details

Price
$16.95  $15.76
Publisher
New York Review of Books
Publish Date
Pages
288
Dimensions
5.0 X 7.9 X 0.7 inches | 0.62 pounds
Language
English
Type
Paperback
EAN/UPC
9781681374949

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About the Author

Susan Taubes (1928-1969) was born to a Jewish family in Hungary. The daughter of a psychoanalyst, Taubes emigrated to the US in 1939 and studied religion at Harvard. She married the philosopher and scholar Jacob Taubes and taught religion at Columbia University from 1960-69. She committed suicide in 1969, soon after the publication of Divorcing.

David Rieff is the author of ten books, including The Exile: Cuba in the Heart of Miami; Slaughterhouse: Bosnia and the Failure of the West; A Bed for the Night: Humanitarianism in Crisis; Swimming in a Sea of Death: A Son's Memoir; and, most recently, In Praise of Forgetting: Historical Memory and its Ironies. He lives in New York City.

Reviews

"[Divorcing] is about much more than the breakup of a marriage. Perhaps it is mostly about misogyny and how it can discourage and deaden a clever woman. It is also about being haunted by the ghosts of the Holocaust and the ghosts of a marriage. And it is about the kind of rupture, both personal and historical, that can't be neatly resolved, not in life nor in a novel." --Deborah Levy, The Guardian

"Time and history, as experienced both personally and collectively, are just two of the big ideas this novel leaves a reader pondering," --John Williams, The New York Times

"The novel centers on Sophie, an already-dead Spinoza scholar, as she travels between New York, Paris, Budapest, the sky, and the bottom of the ocean; between Hungarian, German, Yiddish, English, and French; between intergenerational memories of her family and its strained relationship to Judaism and interpersonal ties to her former husband, friends, lovers, and children. . . . [Divorcing] generates possibilities to imagine fluidity between living and thinking." --Rachel Pafe, The Baffler

"[T]his formally bold novel will gratify admirers of Taubes' friend and contemporary Susan Sontag, Elizabeth's Hardwick's Sleepless Nights, and Margaret Atwood's Cat's Eye. . . . A wry and cerebral study of identity, marriage, sex, and the interleafing of personal, familial, and national history." --Kirkus Reviews

"Hungarian American writer Taubes first published this brilliant fever dream of the life, loves, and travels of Sophie Blind shortly before her death in 1969. . . . The result parses how a thinking woman might have gone about divorcing herself from a society that defined her in ways over which she had no control. Taubes's stylistically innovative book is essential reading for fans of Renata Adler." --Publishers Weekly

"Divorcing heralded the rise of the lean, epigrammatic fiction of the mid-'70s, such as Renata Adler's Speedboat and Elizabeth Hardwick's Sleepless Night. . . . Sophie's cosmopolitanism, her coolness, her sexual appetite, her exhaustion, her intellectualism and indifferent glamor would become recognizable literary capacities, appealing features of a modern protagonist. . . . Divorcing is the stuff of literary cults. It is vivid and inchoate, its surface slick from recent molting. It is fascinating and flawed, a gathering of antithetical forms, sheered edges, leaps of faith...Some works are merely reissued; this feels more like a resurrection." --Dustin Illingworth, The Paris Review

"Divorcing is often very funny, always alive, bursting with ideas, full of formal vitality and change. . . . [T]his feels like a book both stuffed with fiction and nonfiction, memory and play." --Scott Cheshire, The Washington Post

"Divorcing is a compendium of severance: not just a wife from her husband, but a family from their homeland, and a people from their God." --Jess Bergman, Jewish Currents

"Divorcing, teems with stylistic daring, taunts with irreverence, and glints with genius . . . an astonishing work of art, decades ahead of its time, whose formal innovations and insistent excavation of the unspoken corners of female consciousness we now take for granted as de rigueur. . . . Taubes constructs the novel as though piecing together a kaleidoscope of experiences from broken shards of glass. The results are uneven but riveting, ultimately concerned with the question of where writing alone--and the novel form in particular--can take us." --Jennifer Schaffer, The Nation