Unfinished Business by Vivian Gornick audiobook

Unfinished Business: Notes of a Chronic Re-reader

By Vivian Gornick
Read by Vivian Gornick

Blackstone Publishing 9780374282158
4.46 Hours 1
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One of our most beloved writers reassess the electrifying works of literature that have shaped her life. “I sometimes think I was born reading…I can’t remember the time when I didn’t have a book in my hands, my head lost to the world around me.” Unfinished Business: Notes of a Chronic Re-reader is Vivian Gornick’s celebration of passionate reading, of returning again and again to the books that have shaped her at crucial points in her life. In nine essays that traverse literary criticism, memoir, and biography, one of our most celebrated critics writes about the importance of reading—and re-reading—as life progresses. Gornick finds herself in contradictory characters within D. H. Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers, assesses womanhood in Colette’s The Vagabond and The Shackle, and considers the veracity of memory in Marguerite Duras’s The Lover. She revisits Great War novels by J. L. Carr and Pat Barker, uncovers the psychological complexity of Elizabeth Bowen’s prose, and soaks in Natalia Ginzburg, “a writer whose work has often made me love life more.” After adopting two cats, whose erratic behavior she finds vexing, she discovers Doris Lessing’s Particularly Cats. Guided by Gornick’s trademark verve and insight, Unfinished Business is a masterful appreciation of literature’s power to illuminate our lives from a peerless writer and thinker who “still read[s] to feel the power of Life with a capital L.”

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Summary

Summary

A New York Times Book Review Editor’s Choice of the Week

One of our most beloved writers reassess the electrifying works of literature that have shaped her life.

“I sometimes think I was born reading…I can’t remember the time when I didn’t have a book in my hands, my head lost to the world around me.”

Unfinished Business: Notes of a Chronic Re-reader is Vivian Gornick’s celebration of passionate reading, of returning again and again to the books that have shaped her at crucial points in her life. In nine essays that traverse literary criticism, memoir, and biography, one of our most celebrated critics writes about the importance of reading—and re-reading—as life progresses. Gornick finds herself in contradictory characters within D. H. Lawrence’s Sons and Lovers, assesses womanhood in Colette’s The Vagabond and The Shackle, and considers the veracity of memory in Marguerite Duras’s The Lover. She revisits Great War novels by J. L. Carr and Pat Barker, uncovers the psychological complexity of Elizabeth Bowen’s prose, and soaks in Natalia Ginzburg, “a writer whose work has often made me love life more.” After adopting two cats, whose erratic behavior she finds vexing, she discovers Doris Lessing’s Particularly Cats.

Guided by Gornick’s trademark verve and insight, Unfinished Business is a masterful appreciation of literature’s power to illuminate our lives from a peerless writer and thinker who “still read[s] to feel the power of Life with a capital L.”

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“Wry, incisive and characteristically captivating, Gornick’s latest book is a tribute to the value of returning to the same authors at different points in one’s life.” New York Times Book Review
“Vivacious and highly recommended.” Washington Post
“A commitment to class consciousness, cultural politics, gender, and close reading—not only of literature but of daily human relationships.” Los Angeles Review of Books
“Part memoir, part feminist literary analysis, and wholly engaging.” Columbia Journal
“Gornick recognizes that in [an] initial encounter, one might not be emotionally ready to appreciate a work fully but with each rereading will recognize a new literary element or better understand a particular protagonist no matter how many times the book has been perused before. A delightful entry for lovers of literature and literary criticism.” Library Journal (starred review)
“Literature knows few champions as ardent and insightful—or as uncompromising—as Gornick, which is to readers’ good fortune.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“Through steady, sculpted prose and elegant readings, Gornick concludes the work of great literature is less about ‘the transporting pleasure of the story itself’ than revealing readers to themselves…The insights in this rich work will be appreciated by Gornick fans and bibliophiles alike.” Publishers Weekly

Reviews

Reviews

by Odin 10/6/2020
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

Unique menu of essays

For anyone that is familiar with the authors and books Ms. Gornick uses as her basis for this wonderful parade of essays on re-reading books she’d read once or twice before, is in for a treat. Although a listener might not be familiar with all the references, the experience is akin to having a “Sparks Notes” festival of literary overviews. There are numerous surprises in her interpretations and this book will definitely give you pause to think about re-reading books yourself. Have fun. She certainly did.
by Odin 10/1/2020
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

Unique menu of essays

For anyone that is familiar with the authors and books Ms. Gornick uses as her basis for a this wonderful parade of essays on re-reading books she’d read once or twice before. Although a listener might not be familiar with all the references, the experience is akin to having a “Sparks Notes” festival of literary overviews. There are numerous surprises in her interpretations and this book will definitely give you pause to think about re-reading books yourself. Have fun. She certainly did.

Author

Author Bio: Vivian Gornick

Author Bio: Vivian Gornick

Vivian Gornick is the bestselling author of the acclaimed memoir Fierce Attachments, a biography of Emma Goldman, and three essay collections: The Men in My Life, Approaching Eye Level, and The End of the Novel of Love, which was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Nonfiction
Runtime: 4.46
Audience: Adult
Language: English