The Last of Her Kind
While there was a romance that I felt was a misstep, I thought that the author made such interesting choices in the way she chose to structure and reveal her story that I was won over in the end. Utterly moved, I became way too involved with this story.
In a lot of ways, Georg...more
I'm not quite sure what I think of this book. It's well written.
It's the story of the lifelong relationship between the first person
"author" and her college roommate. They are my contemporaries, growing
up and starting college in the late 60s. They are very different
people; the "author" being from an abusive, not well off, rural back
ground and her roommate being from a very wealthy, loving family. The
roommate hates her parents, her wealth, her entitlement, her...more
Written in non-linear first-person memoir form, it is in fact a novel, but includes the kind of personal character and emotion-driven detail one normally only sees in non-fiction. The narrator is often teasing about this blurred line between memoir and fiction, noting when events in the story - which is fiction, but from the narrator's point of view is memoir, seems to click rather conveniently with novelistic device. I found that rather clever.
On the o...more
This was the best book I read in 2006, and for a long time it was my favorite novel. Two roommates meet at Barnard in 1968 — Ann comes from a wealthy family and Georgette is working-class. As Ann becomes a radical and gets deeply embroiled in the racial politics of the 1970s, Nunez examines her activism through the eyes of Georgette, to whom it sometimes seems like a luxury. Ann turns out to be disturbingly committed to her cause, but the position of a privileged pers...more
Nunez explores idealism against the backdrop of gender, racial, and cultural politics. Many critics thought this "strongly imagined portrait of the 1960s" the novel's "most striking" aspect (Wall Street Journal). A few, however, criticized Nunez for overemphasizing the turbulence of the period, casting judgment on it, and describing its madness__drug-induced hallucinations, for example__in unnecessary detail. The value of certain subplots, including one involving Georgette's runaway hippie siste...more
"Are you a political prisoner, Dooley?"
Her blue eyes, immense now in her gaunt face, turned a pitying gaze on the reporter who'd asked her this. "Yes," she said. "And so are you."
This was a challenging book to read for me personally, as I was often torn about my feelin...more
Ann, the wealthy one, is radically devoted to social justice. She'd asked for a roommate as much unlike herself as possible, and wishes she were black. Georgette is happy to be away from her small town and dysfunctional family, and is just beginning to learn about herself and the world.
I liked this b...more
In 1968, Georgette George and Ann Drayton are assigned to room together at Barnard College. Georgette grew up in poverty in upstate New York; Ann comes from a rich family in Connecticut, but in an effort to disavow her privil...more
I think I found the book especially engrossing because I read it while working with activist circles who were stuck in "the 60's" (what they did th...more
The subject of the novel, Dooley "Ann" Drayton, is one of the most interesting literary characters I have seen in some time. The narrator is appropriately c...more
Simply put, I did not like the character of Ann in this story- the rich girl activist who had nothing but disdain for her upbringing, parents, and privileged life and who thought that it was only the poor who w...more
However, about halfway through, the writing style switched--the narrator is no longer recalling events chronologically, but rather, it seems, somewhat haphazardly. Plus, though apparently the narrator's children are her motivation for writing this long account, the most she ever says abou...more
Sigrid Nunez is an author of five novels including her debut, A Feather on the Breath of God: A Novel (1996, ISBN 0-06-092684-8), Naked Sleeper, Mitz: The Marmoset of Bloomsbury, For Rouenna, and The Last of Her Kind. She often addresses class and violence in her novels. She chronicles a time period, such as the 1960's, socially, politically, and intimately in t...more
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I like to remember when I was one of them, or to pretend that I am one of them still, sensing that restless man at my back and half turning, no, turning all the way, open-armed, saying, Pick me, pick me.”
Her blue eyes, immense now in her gaunt face, turned a pitying gaze on the reporter who'd asked her this. "Yes," she said. "And so are you.”