The Uncoupling by Meg Wolitzer
A Novel

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Synopsis

From the New York Times-bestselling author of The Ten-Year Nap, a funny, provocative, revealing novel about female desire.

When the elliptical new drama teacher at Stellar Plains High School chooses for the school play Lysistrata-the comedy by Aristophanes in which women stop having sex with men in order to end a war-a strange spell seems to be cast over the school. Or, at least, over the women. One by one throughout the high school community, perfectly healthy, normal women and teenage girls turn away from their husbands and boyfriends in the bedroom, for reasons they don't really understand. As the women worry over their loss of passion, and the men become by turns unhappy, offended, and above all, confused, both sides are forced to look at their shared history, and at their sexual selves in a new light.

As she did to such acclaim with the New York Times bestseller The Ten-Year Nap, Wolitzer tackles an issue that has deep ramifications for women's lives, in a way that makes it funny, riveting, and totally fresh-allowing us to see our own lives through her insightful lens.

Read an essay about writing The Uncoupling from the author, Meg Wolitzer.

 

About Meg Wolitzer

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Meg Wolitzer is the author of eight previous novels, including The Ten-Year Nap, The Position, and The Wife. Her short fiction has appeared in The Best American Short Stories and The Pushcart Prize. She lives in New York City.
 
Published April 5, 2011 by Riverhead Books. 304 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for The Uncoupling

Kirkus Reviews

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Not previously known for whimsy, Wolitzer (The Ten-Year Nap, 2008, etc.) uses a magical premise to launch her sharp-eyed assessment of sexual desire in its permutations across generations and genders.

Mar 22 2011 | Read Full Review of The Uncoupling: A Novel

The New York Times

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This novel’s women swear off sex after a school decides to stage Aristophanes’ “Lysistrata.”

Apr 08 2011 | Read Full Review of The Uncoupling: A Novel

The Guardian

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Desperate for peace, the Athenian wives, led by Lysistrata herself, take a vow of chastity and persuade the women of Sparta – the enemy – to join them.

Jul 08 2011 | Read Full Review of The Uncoupling: A Novel

The Guardian

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("All around Stellar Plains, the same low, hard wind was beginning to blow [...] and it would keep doing that for weeks, making its circuit, taking its time.") It's Lysistrata itself, under Fran's incantatory direction, that's causing this bewitchment, and here's the novel's problem: the idea th...

Jun 18 2011 | Read Full Review of The Uncoupling: A Novel

Publishers Weekly

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The latest from Wolitzer (The Ten Year Nap) is a plodding story with a killer hook: will the women of Stellar Plains, N.J., ever have sex again? After new high school drama teacher Fran Heller begins

Jan 10 2011 | Read Full Review of The Uncoupling: A Novel

New York Journal of Books

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Meg Wolitzer is known for writing about women’s issues, though primarily she writes about sex.

Apr 05 2011 | Read Full Review of The Uncoupling: A Novel

Los Angeles Times

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A New Jersey town goes without sex in Meg Wolitzer's novel, inspired by 'Lysistrata.'

May 24 2011 | Read Full Review of The Uncoupling: A Novel

The Bookbag

I loved the characters – particularly Dory Lang who might be an excellent teacher but is still just a little bit too much the mother on occasions and Willa, her daughter.

May 14 2012 | Read Full Review of The Uncoupling: A Novel

San Francisco Chronicle

Writing about "Lysistrata," Wolitzer comments that the play has endured, even now, "in this age of very different gratifications.

Apr 08 2011 | Read Full Review of The Uncoupling: A Novel

The New Yorker

Online version of the weekly magazine, with current articles, cartoons, blogs, audio, video, slide shows, an archive of articles and abstracts back to 1925

May 23 2011 | Read Full Review of The Uncoupling: A Novel

Chicago Sun Times

Mysterious enchantments aside, fans of Wolitzer — and those new to her writing — can easily get caught up in the lives of characters young and old who are part of this “terrible pile-up of non-sex-having couples.” The first to succumb to the spell is Dory Lang, a happily married fortysomething En...

Apr 21 2011 | Read Full Review of The Uncoupling: A Novel

Bookshelf Bombshells

Instead, Wolitzer gives us a cast of females who accomplish nothing with their abstinence, unlike Lysistrata and her army of Greek women who stop the Peloponnesian War.

Aug 09 2011 | Read Full Review of The Uncoupling: A Novel

Reader Rating for The Uncoupling
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