Matrimony

Joshua Henkin, Author . Pantheon $23.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-375-42435-9

In 1987, Manhattan-reared hothouse flower Julian Wainwright matriculates at the alternative Graymont College for the express purposes of attending Professor Stephen Chesterfield's exclusive fiction writing workshop. As Chesterfield dryly infuses his writing wisdom, Julian befriends the cocky, aloof, lesser-born Carter Heinz when they are the only two to whom Chesterfield gives the nod. Carter soon meets Pilar in the cafeteria; Julian meets Mia in the laundry room. Carter's simmering class resentment of Julian surfaces. Senior year finds the two couples living next door to one another and plotting their futures. Henkin (Swimming Across the Hudson ) subsequently follows the lovers for the next 15 years through countless college towns, family dramas, failed literary projects and the dot-com boom. Many scenes are too long, and never get below the surface of the cast, particularly wannabe-litterateur Julian. But for a book called Matrimony , Henkin offers surprisingly little about Julian and Mia's marriage, so when big confrontations do arrive, they quickly slide into melodrama. By then, lines like “But I don't want to get my M.F.A. Can't you understand that? I've already been in enough writing workshops” will have cleared the classroom. (Oct.)

Reviewed on: 05/21/2007
Release date: 10/01/2007
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 291 pages - 978-0-307-27716-9
Open Ebook - 231 pages - 978-0-307-47267-0
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