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Asa, as I Knew Him

3.49 of 5 stars 3.49  ·  rating details  ·  173 ratings  ·  8 reviews
Dinah Sachs and Asa Thayer have had a love affair, conducted in afternoons stolen from the office of the magazine where they work. But now that the affair is over, Dinah, in an act of lingering passion, invents a narrative of Asa's youth, imagining the events that shaped the "happy, handsome man" who, in her words, "was born to stomp on my heart."

Witty and sexy, funny and
Paperback, 176 pages
Published April 19th 1994 by Vintage (first published 1987)
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An interesting book that sidesteps the usual pitfalls of the 'doomed love affair' story by simply not telling it at all. What we get instead is much more interesting.

Dinah and Asa's affair is over. Dinah is a Jewish woman raised by not-particularly-religious parents and Asa is a pedigreed Boston WASP , handsome and charming and soulless. It was part of Dinah's obsession that she find Asa's inner-quality, his dormant spirit and bring it out into the open. But she failed. The bulk of this book is
Braeden Udy
I think I found this at a garage sale a long time ago for a quarter. I was pleasantly surprised. I really liked it except for the long backstory of Asa's life. Clever, yes, but it just didn't work for me. The love story and crumbling of the relationship is so good, I would have rather read that for the full 150 pages. If you are tired of the same old same old books, read this.
Abby Rosmarin
I have to admit: if it weren't for Girl, Interrupted, I would've never picked this up. But I'm glad I did. It's a very nontraditional and unorthodox book -- a breath of fresh air after all the formulaic novels. And Kaysen writes absolutely beautifully. There were some paragraphs that I just had to copy down because I loved them so much.
Susan Oleksiw
Kaysen's language is precise and spare, and though her story is not suspenseful or riveting, it holds the imagination. She carries the reader along in a gentle tale.
I really enjoy anything by this author. The language she uses keeps you compelled long after you've put down the book.
Now this one, I love. It's terse, but somehow still dreamy. A beautiful work on memory and obsession.
A less well known book by the author of Girl Interrupted
Worth your time
Samantha Hansen
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Susanna Kaysen is an American author.

Kaysen was born and raised in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Kaysen attended high school at the Commonwealth School in Boston and the Cambridge School before being sent to McLean Hospital in 1967 to undergo psychiatric treatment for depression. It was there she was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. She was released after eighteen months. She later drew
More about Susanna Kaysen...
Girl, Interrupted The Camera My Mother Gave Me Cambridge Far Afield Unholy Ghost: Writers on Depression

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“Asa had a sharp understanding of the future--that is, a time when this would be past. Time was rushing through and around him, he almost heard it whistling, and this awareness rounded the world somehow and made it sweet.” 5 likes
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