Half the Kingdom
By Lore Segal
(Melville House Publishing, Hardcover, 9781612193021, 176pp.)
Publication Date: October 1, 2013
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"""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.