Florence Gordon (Paperback)
In this award-winning novel that Maureen Corrigan of NPR’s "Fresh Air" deems “exquisitely crafted...witty, nuanced, and ultimately moving,” a wise, septuagenarian woman who has lived life on her own terms finds herself thrust into the center of her family’s various catastrophes. ¶ A Best Book of the Year by NPR, the San Francisco Chronicle, Salon, The Millions, the Christian Science Monitor · Finalist for the Kirkus Prize · A Chicago Tribune Editor’s Choice · An Indie Next Pick ¶ Meet Florence Gordon, a blunt, brilliant feminist. At seventy-five, Florence wants to be left alone to write her memoir and shape her legacy. But when her son and his family come to visit, they embroil Florence in their dramas, threatening her coveted solitude. Marked with searing wit, sophisticated intelligence, and a tender respect for humanity, Florence Gordon is cast with a constellation of unforgettable characters. Chief among them is Florence herself, who can humble fools with a single barbed line, but who eventually finds that there are some realities even she cannot outwit. ¶ “Smart, funny, and compassionate...[Florence Gordon] is a treat.” —People ¶ “Hilarious and addictive.”—San Francisco Chronicle ¶ “It’s such a cliché to say a book makes you laugh and cry, but this one does, in the deftest way."—Emily Gould, Paste ¶ “Deliciously sharp and deeply sympathetic . . . a truly gifted novelist.”—Adam Kirsch, Tablet
BRIAN MORTON is the author of four previous novels, including Starting Out in the Evening, which was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and was made into an acclaimed feature film, and A Window Across the River, which was a Book Club selection of the Today show. He teaches at New York University, the Bennington Writing Seminars, and Sarah Lawrence College, where he also directs the writing program. He lives in New York.
Finalist for the inaugural Kirkus Fiction Prize “Florence Gordon is one of those extraordinary novels that clarifies its readers' sense of things, rather than cozying up to our conventional pieties. Morton's ending is straight out of a Chekov story: It's up in the air and brave; a closing vision of a life in all its messy contradictions, just limping down the street.” -- Maureen Corrigan, NPR's Fresh Air "What a treat it is to read Brian Morton's latest novel, populated with the prickly, civic-minded liberal intellectuals we've come to expect from him...self-aware and humorous...Morton doesn't insult us with cheesy, sentimental break-throughs, but he does offer this comfort — characters who are so believable you expect to run into them ordering from the deli counter at Zabar's." --NPR.org "Angular and comic." --The New Yorker "Lovely...Mr. Morton crafts an ending that is partly sad, partly hopeful and, like life, inconclusive." --Wall Street Journal “Florence is one feisty 75-year-old. A brilliant ‘feminist icon,’ she’s also a cranky pain the neck, forever resisting her family’s attempts to corral her. In this smart, funny and compassionate book, Morton brings the whole endearing bunch to life as they struggle with surprising events and get ambushed by unruly emotions. It’s a treat.” –Kim Hubbard, People Magazine "Hilarious and addictive...[Morton] manages to be moving without ever being sappy, showing how people can affect each other deeply while remaining stubbornly — wonderfully — themselves." —San Francisco Chronicle "It's such a cliché to say a book makes you laugh and cry, but this one does, in the deftest way. Morton is that rarest of birds: a dude who's really, truly a feminist. His characters live and breathe, and I still miss hanging out with them." --Emily Gould, Paste Magazine "Morton is a quietly confident writer, who imbues even throwaway lines of dialogue with crackling wit, and whose characters banter like actors in a screwball comedy...Morton, without ever seeming to worry about it, is a terrific counterargument to those who claim that men can’t write believable female characters...With 'Florence Gordon,' Morton has written a heartfelt paean to a 'gloriously difficult woman.'" --Christian Science Monitor "Morton treats the material with a light touch and a dry sense of humor...He is compassionate without being sentimental, even when his characters face life-changing challenges. His take on the relationship between grandmother and granddaughter is particularly refreshing...Morton creates individuals, not types, and makes what could be a familiar story fresh." --The Columbus Dispatch "That Brian Morton has made an engaging and appealing novel with this difficult septuagenarian at its heart is no small accomplishment...warm, funny and always deeply human...[Morton] develops characters worth knowing...Florence Gordon, for all her fine qualities, never ends up being lovable. But Brian Morton’s novel certainly is." --Buffalo News "Morton has artfully constructed the novel." --Chicago Tribune "Deliciously sharp and deeply sympathetic...[Morton] is one of the most unostentatiously intelligent novelists at work today...Morton proves that in the hands of a truly gifted novelist, as in real life, a person’s likability matters less than her sheer power of being." --Tablet Magazine “[Morton] has consistently demonstrated a respect for the humanity of even his most flawed characters...Witty and sophisticated." --Haaretz "Always a ple —