Tolstoy Lied by Rachel Kadish
A Love Story

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Synopsis

In Anna Karenina, Tolstoy famously wrote, “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.” This celebrated maxim seems questionable at best to literature professor Tracy Farber. If Tolstoy is to be taken at his word, only unhappiness is interesting; happiness is predictable and bland.
Tracy secretly nurtures an unusual project: proving that happiness can be uniquely interesting, in literature and in life. Although challenging the masterly Tolstoy creates a potential threat to her job security, Tracy is confident. After all, she’s her own perfect example -- content with friends and work and satisfied to be single at age thirty-three. But then she meets George, who will sweep her off her feet and challenge all of her theories. When love proves more complicated than Tracy had imagined, she struggles to find happiness in a way that fulfills both her head and her heart.
 

About Rachel Kadish

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Rachel Kadish is the author, most recently, of the novel Tolstoy Lied: A Love Story. Among her many honors are a Koret Award, a Pushcart Prize, and citations in the 1997 and 2003 editions of The Best American Short Stories. Her work has been published in Zoetrope: All-Story, Tin House, Story, Bomb, Moment, Sh’ma, Congress Monthly, and Lilith. Kadish, a graduate of Princeton University, earned her M.A. in fiction writing at New York University.
 
Published September 11, 2007 by Mariner Books. 340 pages
Genres: Romance, Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Tracy also considers her next research project: an examination of happiness in literature—hence the title (Tolstoy having famously lumped together and dismissed happy characters in favor of the distinctly more interesting unhappy ones).

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Publishers Weekly

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Tracy Farber, a 33-year-old not-yet-tenured English professor at an unnamed New York City university, works to subvert Tolstoy's famous statement that "happy families are all alike" by investigating whether American fiction can "have an ending that's both honest and happy."

Jun 05 2006 | Read Full Review of Tolstoy Lied: A Love Story

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