American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld is next up on our Bestsellers List reading challenge. I first read American Wife in 2012 and enjoyed the book then, so I was curious to discover if I still liked it. I’m delighted to report that it was just as a good a read the second time through. Sittenfeld has a real knack for writing dialogue and I was soon transported away to the world of Alice Blackwell.
This post does not contain spoilers.
American Wife by Curtis Sittenfeld
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Roberta’s Writer’s Review pretty much sums up my take on American Wife, so I thought instead I’d briefly outline Curtis Sittenfeld’s novels, which I have added to my reading list.
All of Sittenfeld’s novels and collections of short stories have female protagonists. She writes from experience (in the case of Prep) and also seems to enjoy fictionalizing and/or updating famous women or books (American Wife, Eligible).
- Prep, (2005) – a coming of age story centered around a girl from the midwest, Lee Flora, who attends a preppy boarding school on the East Coast.
- The Man of My Dreams, (2006) – follows Hannah from 8th grade thru her college years at Tufts and into her late twenties.
- American Wife, (2008) – Alice Blackwell’s life from childhood in a small, Midwestern town, to her years in the White House as President Charlie Blackwell’s wife. Loosely inspired by the life of First Lady Laura Bush.
- Sisterland, (2013) – the story of Kate, an identical twin, who has psychic powers.
- Eligible, (2016) – the modern day retelling of Pride and Prejudice set in Cincinnati, Ohio.
- You Think It, I’ll Say It, (2018) – a collection of short stories, including “The Nominee,” about Hillary Clinton as she is just about to accept the Democratic Presidential nomination.
Sittenfeld is currently working on her next novel, one inspired by her short story, “The Nominee.” Sittenfeld described it in an interview with The Guardian:
I’m actually writing a novel now about Hillary Clinton, which I think I was partly influenced to do by writing “The Nominee.” The premise is: what if Hillary had met Bill at Yale Law School in the early 70s – which she did – they had fallen in love, become a couple but then she made the decision not to marry him. Yeah… what if?
Yeah, what if? I’ll be watching for that book to come out!
- Book-beginnings, a discussion of the first line of the novel
- Karen’s review from a reader’s perspective
- Roberta’s review from a writer’s perspective
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- The full list is now posted on GoodReads
What are we reading next?
If you ever have questions about what we are reading next or when we’re starting the next discussion, check the 100 Book List tab in the navigation bar at the top of the blog. Links in the list go to the landing page from this blog where the discussion starts. However, this is an open-ended challenge so feel free to jump in with any of the books at any time.
The next book is number 55. A Visit from the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan (2010) – Discussion begins July 23, 2018
Won the Pulitzer Prize in 2011