By Joshua Henkin
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780307277169, 304pp.)
Publication Date: August 26, 2008
Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover
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It's the fall of 1986, and Julian Wainwright, an aspiring writer, arrives at Graymont College in New England. Here he meets Carter Heinz, with whom he develops a strong but ambivalent friendship, and beautiful Mia Mendelsohn, with whom he falls in love. Spurred on by a family tragedy, Julian and Mia's love affair will carry them to graduation and beyond, taking them through several college towns, over the next fifteen years. Starting at the height of the Reagan era and ending in the new millennium, Matrimony is a stunning novel of love and friendship, money and ambition, desire and tensions of faith. It is a richly detailed portrait of what it means to share a life with someone-to do it when you're young, and to try to do it afresh on the brink of middle age.
Joshua Henkin is the author of the novel Swimming Across the Hudson, which was selected by the Los Angeles Times as a notable book of the year; his short stories, essays, and reviews have appeared in many journals and newspapers. He teaches at Sarah Lawrence College, Brooklyn College, and the 92nd Street Y in New York City. He lives in Brooklyn; visit him online at www.joshuahenkin.com.
- Discuss the parent-child relationships in the novel. How much are the lives of Julian, Mia, and Carter a rejection of their parents' lives? Despite how much they try to get away from the patterns of their parents, are they successful? Also consider Professor Chesterfield as a replacement father figure for Julian. What role does genetics play in the parent-child relationships?
“Charming. . . . Henkin keeps you reading with original characters, witty dialogue and a view that marriage, for all its flaws, is worth the trouble.” —People“Beguiling….[Henkin writes] effortless scenes that float between past and present….[He creates] an almost personal nostalgia for these characters.” —Jennifer Egan, The New York Times Book Review“Elicits a passionate investment in the fate of its characters - truly an up-all-night read.” —The Washington Post“Beautifully render[s] the give and take, back and forth of marriage over the long haul. —The News and Observer