Late Summer Passion of a Woman of Mind

Rebecca Goldstein, Author Farrar Straus Giroux $18.95 (272p) ISBN 978-0-374-18406-3
The author of The Mind-Body Problem , whose nimble portrait of a yeshiva girl-turned-Ivy League philosophy graduate student was astutely authentic, is on shakier ground here with a German emigre protagonist, the daughter of a Nazi, who is a brilliant and beautiful philosophy professor at an American university. In a novel brimming with philosophical arcana and Holocaust angst, young Eva Mueller, scarred by guilt, falls prey to a devastating relationship with a warped son of Holocaust survivors. In the wake of the affair, Eva seals off her heart and her sensual self, reserving affection only for her beloved Spinoza and Plato, until one summer, as she turns 47, she becomes infatuated with a 20-year-old student. The motives for Eva's passion and dispassion as well as her feelings for her father are obscure. Nonetheless, Goldstein is as pungent as ever, as Eva's robust and tart gaze takes in academics, students, book editors, authors ``who write not because there is something that must be said but rather because we must say something,'' popular culture, the life of the mind vs. ``the female state,'' and the futility and rewards of pedagogy. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/01/1989
Release date: 04/01/1989
Paperback - 261 pages - 978-0-679-72823-8
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