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Every Past Thing

3.59  ·  Rating Details ·  17 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
In 1899, the streets of New York were as unsettled as the heart and mind of Mary Jane Elmer. The ideas of the transcendentalists were still in the air, and thoughts of a second revolution were rising. Emma Goldman spoke to ever-growing numbers of the disenfranchised in Union Square and scandalized the city fathers. Police used horses, clubs and bullets to disperse the ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published September 1st 2007 by Unbridled Books (first published January 1st 2007)
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May 31, 2008 Lisa rated it it was amazing
Pam Thompson is an amazingly talented writer. Can't wait for her next book.
Every Past Thing is a very complicated book. I can t say that I liked the book as a whole, but the more I read, the more I became wrapped up in the novel. This is not a novel to curl up with on a rainy day and get lost in. It is a very difficult read, at times painfully boring. Pamela Thompson s prose is dense and challenging, but altogether beautiful. She is a very talented writer. She needs to be taken in small bites and savored, chewed on for a bit. By the end of the novel I cared very ...more
Rosina Lippi
Feb 06, 2010 Rosina Lippi rated it liked it
The author stumbled across a painting Smith College Art Museum and it evolved into a novel, this novel. The painting is question is on the dust jacket.

The story is set in Manhattan in a time of great political and social upheaval. Emma Goldman was stirring things up, women were taking advantage of more freedoms, questions were being asked. If you have a time/setting like this, you have to treat it as a character in its own right. Thompson failed to take this opportunity. She writes instead about
Dec 28, 2007 Liza rated it really liked it
I read this right after I read Luc Sante's Low Life, and it proved the perfect companion novel. I saw the author speak about it at the Tenement House Museum, and she described falling in love with the painting on the cover of the book (which is at the Smith College Art Museum). She researched the artist and discovered a world she had to try to piece together through fiction. This is the story, and it captures the world of New York in 1899--from those who profit enormously from the Gilded Age to ...more
Nov 16, 2009 Justine rated it it was amazing
Okay, yes, another close friend, and member of my writing group, *but* another very good read, especially if you're interested in women's roles at the turn of 20th c. and the radical left movement that was broiling at the time. Also, this novel is based on a painting at the Smith College Art museum. See the painting, read the book, see the painting, read...
Jan 29, 2008 Stephy rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
I bought this book because it was about the time period in which my father was born, 1899. I learned so much more. A story populated with names like Emma Goldman and turning on the lynch pin of a young child's death when such thinks were never spoken of after. Haunted by pathological grief, still the sweetness of the story overcomes all this. I recommend it. Highly.
Jul 23, 2008 Gail is currently reading it
Shelves: can-t-finish
I am not done with this book, so I don't feel I can truly rate it.

I do, however feel I can honestly say that I expect I will not finish this book. The story develops very slowly and the book has some pretty boring and redundant passages in it. I tried several times to finish this one but I really don't care enough about these characters and this story to muscle my way to the end.
Nov 10, 2007 Hilary rated it it was amazing
I have a great deal to say about this book—but too much for a paragraph. Read it. Write me about it.
A quiet novel about art and artists' lives and loves set in nineteenth century Western Massachusetts.
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Pamela Thompson received her B.A. from Yale College and her M.F.A. in writing from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. She has also studied writing at the Writers Voice in New York City and the Bread Loaf writing workshop.

For the last decade, she has been the editorial director at Interlink Books/Olive Branch Press in Northampton. She lives with her husband and two children in Worthington, M
More about Pamela Thompson...

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