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Pages for Her

A Novel

List Price: $16.95

July 10, 2018 | Paperback | 5.5 x 8.25, 384 pages | ISBN 9781640090545
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1 of 100 Best Books of 2017 (San Francisco Chronicle)
One of 2017’s Best Fiction Books (Kirkus Reviews)

“Sharp observations about motherhood and womanhood . . . Audacious, confident, smart, seductive.” —The New York Times Book Review

Pages for Her is the story of two women, Flannery and Anne, each at a personal turning point, and the circumstances that lead to their reunion. Twenty years after their brief but passionate affair, chronicled in Sylvia Brownrigg’s earlier novel Pages for You, Flannery has the chance once again to meet Anne, who opened young Flannery up to the possibility of love—then left her heartbroken. Pages for Her is an exhilarating, passionate work that explores marriage, sexuality, and the transformative power of love over time.

SYLVIA BROWNRIGG is the author of several acclaimed works of fiction: four novels—Morality Tale; The Delivery Room, winner of the Northern California Book Award; Pages for You, winner of a Lambda Award; and The Metaphysical Touch—and a collection of stories, Ten Women Who Shook the World. Brownrigg grew up in California and in England and lives with her family in Berkeley.

Praise

Praise for Pages for Her

1 of 100 Best Books of 2017 (San Francisco Chronicle)
One of 2017’s Best Fiction Books (Kirkus Reviews)

1 of 13 New Paperbacks to Stash in Your Beach Bag for Summer Reading (Hello Giggles)

“Sharp observations about motherhood and womanhood . . . Audacious, confident, smart, seductive.” —The New York Times Book Review

“Brownrigg’s deeply thoughtful, absorbing novel is a sequel to Pages for You (2001), which made a significant splash as a kind of erotic bildungsroman.” —San Francisco Chronicle, 1 of 100 Best Books of 2017

“[A] deeply thoughtful, absorbing fifth novel . . . Pages for Her is filled with such rich considerations—of meaning, direction, comparative ways of being—in restless, sensuous prose . . . We’re glad to come to know these women, and to be taught by what happens between them.” —San Francisco Chronicle

“An insightful consideration of the unexpected ways that relationships shape and change us.” —After Ellen

“As sharp as the original . . . Pages for Her is a fascinating bookend.” —Boris Kachka, Vulture

“A thoughtful examination of the passage of time and how romantic relationships, both past and present, warp and sustain us.” —Lambda Literary

“A poetic and in-depth look at the self—as individual, writer, mother, wife, daughter, and lover.” —ZYZZYVA

“Reading Brownrigg’s novels feels like entering a fictional world that is less fussy, more real. Mainstream fiction could do with substantially more fiction about romance between teenagers and between middle-aged women . . . For now, we have these pages.” —Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic

“Touches on so many important women’s issues, including marriage, motherhood, and sexuality.” —Hello Giggles, 1 of 13 New Paperbacks to Stash in Your Beach Bag for Summer Reading

“Captivating . . . Brownrigg, who lives in Berkeley, animates her sequel with love, marriage, feminism and ‘the knife-edges of sexuality.'” —The Mercury News

“Sylvia Brownrigg’s latest novel, Pages for Her, reads like a contemporary Symposium, in which two whip-smart Yale alumnae try to puzzle out desire in the wake of past satisfactions and midlife disappointments . . . The book’s . . . observations illustrate how compellingly perceptive the characters are—and how rewardingly surprising and precise Brownrigg’s language is.” —Yale Magazine

“Emotionally authentic and sincere.” —Dallas Morning News

“Brownrigg . . . approaches her characters with clarity and sensitivity, capturing the nuances in the women’s relationships to the people they love—as mother, daughter, sister, friend, wife, or lover—and the power they give those people to define and inspire them . . . Brownrigg considers motherhood, romance, identity, and the changes brought by time in this tender, insightful novel.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

“[A] thoughtful, gentle, yet passionate novel . . . Brownrigg’s themes of sexuality, betrayal, marriage, and identity resonate along with this tale’s strong sense of yearning as it poses the question, Can you be a soul mate with someone you haven’t seen in two decades?” —Booklist

“Sylvia Brownrigg’s Pages for Her is a complex portrait of two women’s sexuality. In the romantic universe of Brownrigg’s novel, there is no either/or, no simple black and white. When characters—read people—are freed from the often blinding forces of personal obligation and private loss, a lust for intimacy takes over. In Pages for Her, Brownrigg gives us two accomplished women who, coming together after decades apart, understand that truth laid bare is best beguiled.” —Alice Sebold

“In this intense, compelling novel, Sylvia Brownrigg writes vividly about passion rekindled in midlife with the force of a tsunami. Pages for Her, the sequel to Pages for You, stands as a beautiful testament to human complexity, reminding us that fierce love comes in many forms, none of them mutually exclusive.” —Claire Messud, author of The Burning Girl

Pages for Her takes on all the Big Questions in women’s lives: what it means to have ‘enough’ in love, sex, work, motherhood; what we deserve; what we long for; how we get trapped; how we can break free. I found myself reading with pen in hand, compelled to underline both Brownrigg’s gorgeous prose and her astute insights.” —Peggy Orenstein, author of Girls & Sex: Navigating the Complicated New Landscape

“Sylvia Brownrigg’s elegant, absorbing, beautifully written new novel is structured as a double narrative that twists closer together with every chapter, bringing Anne and Flannery together again. The many fans of Pages For You will love this brilliant continuation of their story.” —Kate Christensen, PEN-Faulkner-award winning author of The Great Man

“With Pages for Her, Sylvia Brownrigg has achieved the seemingly impossible, a gorgeous and piercing book that is both a huge gift to the many readers who loved its predecessor Pages for You, and an exquisitely intelligent stand-alone novel about the intertwined arcs of time and love.” —Ann Packer, author of The Children’s Crusade

“With Pages for Her, Brownrigg does open-heart surgery, probing the deep chamber where unfinished love resides, untouchable by time, still beating. —Carol Anshaw, author of Carry the One

“In elegant, graceful prose, Sylvia Brownrigg glides in and out of the lives of two women: Flannery, a writer married to a bombastic artist who values her beauty more than her mind; and Anne, an academic nearly a decade older whose decision not to have a child ends to her long-term relationship. Many years ago, these women shared a once-in-a-lifetime passion. Now, brought together serendipitously, they are surprised to find that time has done little to tamp down desire. Nuanced, assured, and razor-sharp, Pages for Her is both a bittersweet story about rekindled love and a profound meditation on what it means to be alive.” —Christina Baker Kline

Praise for Pages for You

“With an admirable respect for the importance of youthful passion, Sylvia Brownrigg spins out this modern version of the age-old story of first love and sexual initiation.” —Maria Russo, New York Times Book Review

“The love affair is delightfully rendered and sharply written, tracing the arc of Flannery’s discovery not only of erotic pleasures but of intellectual ardor and the wider horizons of adult life in general.” —Bethany Schneider, Newsday

“A pitch-perfect evocation of a young woman journeying through a year awakenings . . . The novel is not about the ‘idea’ of two women in love, though Brownrigg’s unabashedly honest portrait of same-sex desire is certain to nourish gay and lesbian readers. But it is her invention of such a winning heroine as Flannery that will compel bookish types of all sexual orientations who recall the thrill and anguish of growing up to identify with her plights of passage. For this elegantly rendered, poignant novel is ultimately about awakenings both bright and rude, the intoxicating nature of desire, and the realization that love can devastate just as easily as it exalts.” —Village Voice

“Page by page, Brownrigg captures—in delicious and witty prose—the rapture and humiliation of first love . . . This exquisitely written, bittersweet Valentine of a novel is for any reader who has ever been in a romantic relationship and wants to remember and revel in all the foolish things we do for love.” —Publishers Weekly

“Like Turgenev or Katherine Mansfield, Sylvia Brownrigg understands that the inexperienced lover is a detective who doesn’t know which clues matter… mesmerizing.” —Helen Dunmore

Praise for The Metaphysical Touch

“Vital, provocative and written with a wit and a venturesomeness that go quite a way toward doing what fiction should do: keep time for a ticking world.” — New York Times

“This sweet, sad, smart, sexy first novel humanizes cyberspace.” —Newsweek

“[Brownrigg is] witty and smart, and she observes the world with a skeptical though not irredeemably jaundiced eye… A serious and intelligently wrought piece of fiction.” —New York Times Book Review

“[A] deft, observant first novel—Brownrigg is a self-possessed and intelligent writer, with an almost unerring sense of proportion… Admirably sure of herself: sure of her characters, sure of her theme, and sure of her narrative and stylistic skills.” —Newsday

“A deeply impressive story of love, loss, philosophy, and the deep worries of childhood.” —Penelope Fitzgerald

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