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The last of her kind
Sigrid Nunez
Adult Fiction NUNEZ

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From Publishers' Weekly:

Starred Review. When Georgette George and Ann Drayton meet in 1968 as freshmen roommates at Barnard College, Georgette marvels that her privileged, brilliant roommate envies Georgette's rough, impoverished childhood. Through the vehicle of this fascinating friendship, Nunez's sophisticated new novel (after For Rouenna) explores the dark side of the countercultural idealism that swept the country in the 1960s. Hyperbolic even for the times, Ann's passionate commitment to her beliefs--unwavering despite the resentment from those she tries to help--haunts Georgette, the novel's narrator, long after the women's lives diverge. In 1976, Ann lands in prison for shooting and killing a policeman in a misguided attempt to rescue her activist black boyfriend from a confrontation. The novel's generous structure also gracefully encompasses the story of Georgette's more conventional adult life in New York (she becomes a magazine editor, marries, and bears two children), plus that of Georgette's runaway junkie sister. Nunez reveals Ann's life in prison via a moving essay by one of her fellow inmates. By the end of this novel--propelled by rich, almost scholarly prose--all the parts come together to capture the violent idealism of the times while illuminating a moving truth about human nature. (Jan.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved All rights reserved.

From Library Journal:

Starred Review. Every so often you close a book, and the only word that comes to mind is Wow. This fifth offering from award winner Nunez (For Rouenna) elicits such a reaction. Part social history and part platonic love story, it takes readers on a whirlwind tour of the late 20th and early 21st centuries. The action begins in 1968, when working-class Georgette George is forced to room with upper-class Ann Drayton. Georgette is wary of Ann but slowly allows a friendship to develop. As it does, both get a crash course in the ways race, class, and gender impact cultural dominance. The novel is never heavyhanded but tells an intricate story that relies on morally complex characters and their friends and family. While the women development is foremost, the era most important markers--the Civil Rights Movement, Vietnam War protests, Black Panthers, Woodstock, hippie activities, feminist organizing, and AIDS activism, among them--offer a meaningful backdrop for each individual sojourn. Rich in historical detail, this unpredictable novel zeroes in on what it means to renounce class privilege and sacrifice oneself in the service of human betterment. Stunningly powerful, it is highly recommended.--Eleanor J. Bader, Brooklyn, NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted. All rights reserved.

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more titles about

main characters Georgette George
Ann's friend; had an impoverished childhood.
Magazine editor

Ann Drayton
Georgette's friend; privileged; brilliant; envious of Georgette's childhood; committed to her beliefs; shoots and kills a policeman in an attempt to rescue her black boyfriend.

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