By Jayne Anne Phillips
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780375701924, 304pp.)
Publication Date: March 13, 2001
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A major new novel that depicts the challenges of family life with contemporary force and timeless grace, from the acclaimed author of Machine Dreams and Shelter.
Formerly free-spirited, unattached Kate enters into roles of enormous responsibility: as she takes the first steps into a new marriage complete with her own beloved infant and two lively young stepsons, she becomes caregiver to her ailing mother, the strong woman who has been her guiding star and counterpart across a divide of experience and time. Kate must, in a single year, confront profound loss alongside radiant beginnings.
Jayne Anne Phillips transforms quotidian details into a shimmering whole, giving us Kate and her family in all the complexity their world offers. Phillips’ renowned skill at portraiture combines with her equally nuanced sense of narrative in this heartstrong and delicately layered novel.
Jayne Anne Phillips was born in Buckhannon, West Virginia. She is the author of three novels, MotherKind (2000), Shelter (1994) and Machine Dreams (1984), and two collections of widely anthologized stories, Fast Lanes (1987) and Black Tickets (1979). She is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship, two National Endowment for the Arts Fellowships, and a Bunting Fellowship. She has been awarded the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction (1980) and an Academy Award in Literature (1997) by the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Her work has been translated into twelve languages, and has appeared in Granta, Harper’s, DoubleTake, and The Norton Anthology of Contemporary Fiction. She is currently Professor of English and Director of the MFA Program at Rutgers-Newark, the State University of New Jersey. Her new novel, Lark and Termite, is forthcoming from Knopf.
?[MotherKind] is further proof of an extraordinary ability to reflect the texture of real life?. Phillips sets forth a mother-daughter relationship that is tender without ever bordering on precious.??The Washington Post Book World