Half the Kingdom

By Lore Segal
(Melville House, Hardcover, 9781612193021, 176pp.)

Publication Date: October 1, 2013

Other Editions of This Title: Paperback

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Description

New York Times Notable Book 2013

"No one writes like Segal — her glittering intelligence, her piercing wit, and her dazzling insights into manners and mores, are a profound pleasure. From first to last I loved this wise and irreverent novel." Margot Livesey

"
I always feel in her work such a sense of toughness and humor…. Her writing is sad and funny, and that makes it more of both." Jennifer Egan

“Lore Segal is a marvelous and fearless writer.  No subject is too hard, too absurd, or too painful  for her wise, peculiar and brilliant fiction.” —Lily Tuck

The renowned New Yorker writer and Pulitzer Prize finalist Lore Segal—whom The New York Times declared "closer than anyone to writing the Great American Novel"—delivers a hilarious, poignant and profoundly moving tale of living, loving and aging in America today

At Cedars of Lebanon Hospital, doctors have noticed a marked uptick in Alzheimer's patients. People who seemed perfectly lucid just a day earlier suddenly show signs of advanced dementia. Is it just normal aging, or an epidemic? Is it a coincidence, or a secret terrorist plot?

In the looking-glass world of Half the Kingdom—where terrorist paranoia and end-of-the-world hysteria mask deeper fears of mortality; where parents' and their grown children's feelings vacillate between frustration and tenderness; and where the broken medical system leads one character to quip, "Kafka wrote slice-of-life fiction"—all is familiar and yet slightly askew.

Lore Segal masterfully interweaves her characters' lives—lives that, for good or for ill, all converge in Cedar's ER—into a funny, tragic, and tender portrait of how we live today.




About the Author

LORE SEGAL is the author of the novels Lucinella, Other People's Houses, Her First American and the story collection Shakespeare's Kitchen, a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. She is the recipient of an American Academy and the Institutes of Arts and Letters award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, an O'Henry Award and the Harold U. Ribalow Prize. Her work has appeared in The New Yorker, The New York Times, Harper's Magazine, The New Republic and other publications. At eighty-five years old, Segal lives and writes in New York City.




Praise For Half the Kingdom

"No one writes like Segal — her glittering intelligence, her piercing wit, and her dazzling insights into manners and mores, are a profound pleasure. From first to last I loved this wise and irreverent novel." —Margot Livesey

"I always feel in her work such a sense of toughness and humor…. Her writing is sad and funny, and that makes it more of both." —Jennifer Egan

"If America had anything resembling a wise elder, or cared to, it would be Lore Segal, and Half the Kingdom would be her moving, blackly-comic revelation." —Shalom Auslander

"I have never read such an astonishing book about old age. It’s remarkable. This woman is one of the best writers I’ve ever had the privilege of reading." —Ayelet Waldman

"Lore Segal may have come closer than anyone to writing The Great American Novel." —The New York Times

"...rare insight into the human character that is at once humbling and shamelessly enjoyable to behold. " —Publishers Weekly

"One of the rare writers who combines art, eccentricity, honesty, and wisdom...." —Chicago Tribune

"Every now and then a piece of work bursts the bounds of its own conventions ... announcing the existence in our midst of a genuine writer." —The Nation

"A voice ... unlike any other I had ever known." —Cynthia Ozick

"Outdistances our contemporary expectations of fiction ... to maintain a lasting place not only in American literature but in that of the world." —Stanley Crouch

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