1. The Position
    by Meg Wolitzer

    Family complications arise when the children discover their parents have written a best-selling sex manual. Opening paragraph:  The book was placed on a high self in the den, as though it were the only copy in the world and if the children didn’t find it they would be forever unaware of the sexual lives of their parents, forever ignorant of the press of hot skin, the overlapping voices, the stir and scrape of the brass headboard as it lightly battered

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  2. Put Meg Wolitzer on Your “Top Shelf”
    June 2018

    With the publication of her latest book, The Female Persuasion, one of my favorite authors—Meg Wolitzer—is finally getting the attention she deserves. She has written almost a dozen novels, but as she has pointed out herself in an article entitled “The Second Shelf,” books by women do not get the serious attention that men’s do—and are often demoted to “Women’s Fiction,” that lower shelf in the bookstore where books by women are often relegated. My favorite of Wolitzer’s (Meg Wolitzer, that

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  3. The Joy of Jane
    August 2017

    This year is a special one for Jane Austen fans. She is being thoroughly celebrated in this 200th anniversary of her death—with the release of the Jane Austen £10 pound note (making her the first woman besides the Queen to appear on the country’s currency); an anniversary service at Winchester Cathedral; a 10-day festival in Bath; a huge convention of the Jane Austen Society in California; and the unveiling of a £100,000 pound statue near her childhood home. Austen’s bicentennial has

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  4. Atonement
    by Ian McEwan

    In three beautifully crafted parts, the story starts with a domestic crisis that becomes a crime story; the second part describes the British evacuation at Dunkirk; the third is set in London as the nation mobilizes for war. Opening paragraph:  The play, for which Briony had designed the posters, programmes and tickets, constructed the sales booth out of a folding screen tipped on its side, and lined the collection box in red crepe paper, was written by her in a

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  5. Le Divorce
    by Diane Johnson

    A film-school dropout travels to Paris to aid her stepsister, who is going through a divorce.  Cross-cultural collisions ensue.   Opening paragraph:  I think of life as being like film because of what I learned at the film school at USC.  Film, with its fitful changefulness, its arbitrary notions of coherence, contrasting with the static solemnity of painting, might also be a more appropriate medium for rendering what seems to be happening, and emblematic too perhaps of our natures, Roxy’s

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  6. Heartburn
    by Nora Ephron

    How Rachel deals with the break up of her marriage, with the help of humor, group therapy, and cooking. Opening paragraph:  The first day I did not think it was funny.  I didn’t think it was funny the third day either, but I managed to make a little joke about it.  “The most unfair thing about this is that I can’t even date.”  Well, you had to be there, as they say, because when I put it down on paper

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