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The Truth about Lorin Jones

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  232 ratings  ·  25 reviews
This 1988 novel follows Polly Alter, who is researching a book about Lorin Jones, a brilliant painter who died too young, through a series of encounters with people in her own life and people in Lorin's... toward what she hopes will be the truth about Lorin Jones.
Paperback, 328 pages
Published April 1st 1990 by Avon Books (first published 1988)
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MJ Nicholls
Trounced by my inability to absolutely love every page of Gravity’s Rainbow like I was foolishly expecting (but secretly pleased to be contrary all the same) I decided to read something appropriately oppositional instead, filched from a friend’s mother’s sister’s library. And you can’t get less reliable than a friend’s mother’s sister’s library. Or in this case, you can. This novel boasts more hateful feminists than a backstage at a Le Tigre concert and more oleaginous male chauvinists than back ...more
There is something dated about this book (published 1988), but if you are willing to accept that, then the book can be very enjoyable. Polly Alter, 39, a recently divorced feminist who makes a living on the fringes of the art world of NYC, decides to write a biography of Lorin Jones, a female painter whose works are gaining appreciation almost 20 years after her death. At the onset, Polly is convinced that Lorin was mistreated, silenced and exploited by the male chauvinist pigs in her life. But ...more
Dec 22, 2009 Stven rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes women and novels
Recommended to Stven by: Andi via Angelika
An excellent novel. Not only is it a good story, but it is so readably written that I am clear through its 328 pages in only a couple of days after having it recommended to me. As one of the blurbs on the back says, you can look at it like a modern Pride and Prejudice, showing you by concentrating on a small group of characters what relationships were like for everybody in a bygone society. Only in this case the bygone society is the American artsy crowd in 1988. You'll care about Polly Alter, t ...more
Polly a feminist, researches into the life of artist Lorin Jones. She ends up with a kaleidoscopic character, seen differently by different people and depending on interpretation. Reminded me of studying literature in the 80's and being obliged to give 'marxist' or 'feminist' readings. Do students still have to do that? Even at the time it struck me as a very telescopic view.

Polly becomes unstuck as her preconceptions are challenged.

A delight. The blurb likens Lurie to Jane Austen. Maybe, as sh
I first read this around fifteen years ago. I remember liking it fine, but not much else. It's been on my bookshelf since then, unnoticed, until this Christmas when my 86-year-old mother took it down and started reading. I'd forgotten all about it, but since, like the book's protagonist, I'm also an art historian turned writer, working on the lives of women artists, I knew I had to read it again (though my mom didn't love it). So as soon as she was done, I picked it up.

A satire (though loving) o
you jenny
That would be a suck book! While you are reading you just feel like wasting your time! when you keep reading you just wasting more!i don't know how Polly should make herself a lesbian just because you slept with an woman!or raped by a woman! While this women keep reminding you that males are lier, raper or selfish! But i think she is the most selfish one! Jean and her lesbian lover!selfish and fake person! Super feminist! Even for a 14years kids! I couldn't know how people can be like this and s ...more
I don't feel quite right listing this as 'already read', as after only 100 pages, I had to give up. For me, this is a rarity. Usually I power through to the end of any book, but Alison Lurie's characters proved too irritating for me to stomach any longer.
The overplayed feminism of Polly Alter wound me up, but may well have been resolved towards the end, however after 100 pages of whining and sniping about the men in her life I was left bored and annoyed, and couldn't carry on. The only character
Kirsty Darbyshire
I used to covet these Abacus editions of Alison Lurie's books while hanging out in the Old Brompton Road branch of Waterstone's in the early 1990s. The surprising thing is that I never read any of them at the time. I found this one on Darren's shelves, complete with bus ticket bookmark (the 373, October 1992). It's still taken me a long time to get to read it, and Darren says he never did finish it.

It's six years since I read Foreign Affairs and I need to get round to the rest of Lurie's books
Protagonist has the black and white thinking of a 12-year-old but is more easily confused than a child of that age; supporting characters are all caricatures.
Bibi Rose
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
It's an easy read, and it keeps you interested, but you have to wade through all of the (and I never thought I would say this but) feminist bullshit. Which is so heavy handed that it must be there to make a point, and in the end, the point is obvious, but BLEH. I don't like seeing feminists as villians. I also don't like seeing the ugly underbelly of the art world. So, I guess it's just me.
Provocative plot, mediocre execution. I was all high on Lurie after reading the inspired Foreign Affairs, but this was a let-down. Not terrible, just unspectacular.
Austen to Zafón
Read this aloud to my husband when we were dating. I'd read while he cooked. We both enjoyed it, but it wasn't the best book ever. Polly is a little irritating and we both kept groaning over the heavy-handed feminism. I think we liked it more as an experience than either of us would have if we read it to ourselves.
Jul 28, 2007 Kate rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: who knows?
In truth, I remember nothing about this book except that I read it for a class and liked it enough to read another Alison Lurie, also involving Cape Cod, that I liked even better but remember nothing about, including the title. So I'm giving this one 3 stars because that seems to be the most logical thing to do.
Anne Van
Sort of a chatty novel, mildly interesting, and not so deep. A female art historian does research for a book about a gifted and troubled woman who is a painter, feels identified with her subject for a while, confused about her own identity and future. But, it all works out in the end.
I do like Alison Lurie's books. I didn't mind it being dated/overly strongly opinionated. She writes with confidence and verve and I found Polly to be sympathetic (if easily swayed!). The structure of the novel worked well with the interviews adding different voices.
The novel appears to have something to do with feminism... When I figure out what, I'll let you know. (Just kidding...kind of.) In the meantime, it's engaging enough to keep reading. The main character is irritating, but I am curious what will happen to her.
My favorite book by Alison Lurie. May 2011: ok, I just read it again for book club. I'm glad to say that I still liked it. Maybe I don't appreciate subtlety very much.
pas mal, ms pas une auteure que j'apprécie vraiment. Lu en français, trad pas très bonne..
Jun 09, 2008 Veganknitter rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes feminist literature and women artists
Shelves: permanent
I love this book! I have read it several times and have bought many copies for friends.
Affectionate satire of feminism and leftist orthodoxy.
I finished it, but barely. I just couldn't get into it.
Funny satire of feminist perspectives.
Tochukwu Emmanuel
Tochukwu Emmanuel marked it as to-read
Apr 17, 2015
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Alison Lurie (b. 1926) is a Pulitzer Prize–winning author of fiction and nonfiction. Born in Chicago and raised in White Plains, New York, she joined the English department at Cornell University in 1970, where she taught courses on children’s literature, among others. Her first novel, Love and Friendship (1962), is a story of romance and deception among the faculty of a snowbound New England colle ...more
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Foreign Affairs The War Between the Tates Truth and Consequences: A Novel The Oxford Book of Modern Fairy Tales The Last Resort

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