Dana was the only woman in our freshman dental class, one of two that year in the whole dental school.I set out to buy this book because I'd just finished reading Lauren F. Winner's Still: Notes on a Mid-Faith Crisis (2012), where she wrote on the first page of her preface:
Smiley is quite possibly my favorite living American novelistI've read several of Jane Smiley's novels and think she is a great writer. Her novel A Thousand Acres is a modern version of King Lear by Shakespeare, but I'd never heard of "The Age of Grief." At the bookstore, I learned it's a novella of just under a hundred pages at the end of this book by the same title, packaged with five short stories. Since the novella is the whole reason I got the book, its beginning is what I quoted above, rather than the first line of the first short story. Here's the synopsis of the novella itself: I read her novella "The Age of Grief" at least once annually.
A man meditates on the vagaries of love and family life. Certain that his wife has fallen in love with someone elseI don't know how the story gets from that opening sentence to the man (apparently the narrator) worried about his wife, but I'm curious now. and been spurned by him he tries to recover what he calls "the ironic middle," the good-humored, matter-of-fact heart of the marriage where he can keep her from knowing of his own sorrow.