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My Latest Grievance


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About the Author

ELINOR LIPMAN is the author of eight previous novels, including The Inn at Lake Devine, and My Latest Grievance, winner of the Paterson Fiction Prize. In 2001 she won the New England Book Award for Fiction. The film Then She Found Me, directed by and starring Helen Hunt, is based on her first novel.


Lipman's latest is both funny and poignant. Frederica Hatch was born on the Dewing College campus in 1961 to David and Aviva Hatch, two liberal Dewing professors who also served as house-parents in one of the dorms. Frederica becomes the darling of this small women's college. Reared in an extremely open, adultlike manner, she approaches her 16th birthday with maturity and the confidence of knowing everything about her seemingly boring parents. It is with great surprise that she receives a strand of pearls from Laura Lee French, her father's first wife. Not only did Frederica not know there was a first wife and a divorce, but she learns that her mother was "the other woman"! Events start to accelerate when Laura Lee becomes house mother in another dorm. The arrival of Laura Lee, a former wannabe Rockette, becomes the mechanism by which a new college president will meet his Waterloo and the Hatch family will rise above expectations. Language is a musical instrument in Lipman's skillful hands; her dialog resonates with emotion. Alternately hilarious and charming, this book will enchant every listener. The reading by Mia Barron, who does a superb job of imbuing each character with a distinct voice, makes this recording an absolute delight. Highly recommended for all public libraries.-Gloria Maxwell, Metropolitan Community Coll. Lib., Kansas City, MO Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.

Frederica Hatch-the articulate, curious, and na?ve narrator of Lipman's eighth novel-proves the perfect vehicle for this satiric yet compassionate family portrait. It's 1976, and psych professors David and Aviva Hatch are honest with their daughter to the point of anatomically correcting Frederica's Barbie dolls. In all their years as a dorm family at a small women's college outside Boston, though, no one mentioned Laura Lee French, David's first wife (and distant cousin). Frederica, now 15 and ready for rebellion, delights in Laura's arrival on campus as a new dorm mother; David and Aviva look on nervously as the two become fast friends. In contrast with Frederica's right-thinking, '60s radical parents, Laura Lee becomes the delicious embodiment of all the moral and psychological complexities of a flawed world beyond campus. Meanwhile, campus itself looks very little like an ivory tower as major scandal brews amid petty gossip. As in previous novels, Lipman addresses sensitive issues (anti-Semitism, adultery, dementia) with delicacy and acerbity. She also nails the shifts and moods of an angry teenager, a grandmother in denial, a philanderer in hiding and a campus in shock. By the end, a smart young girl learns compassion for a world that can be grotesquely, hilariously, disturbingly unfair. (Apr.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Completely irresistible. Expect high demand for this novel and renewed interest in Lipman's previous seven. Highly recommended.
A novel of warmth, wisdom, love, and redemption that is funny and fun to read.
May be Lipman's best work so far... Every page offers laugh-out-loud dialogue...So entertaining you're sorry to see it end.
Up there at the top is where this enchanting, infinitely witty yet serious, exceptionally intelligent, wholly original and Austen-like stylist belongs.

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