Solomon, Nina 1961-
SOLOMON, Nina 1961-
Born September 8, 1961; children: Nathaniel. Education: Columbia University, M.A.
Home—Manhattan, NY. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill, P.O. Box 2225, Chapel Hill, NC 27515-2225. E-mail—[email protected] (put author's name in subject line).
Single Wife, Algonquin Books of Chapel Hill (Chapel Hill, NC), 2003.
Nina Solomon's debut novel, Single Wife, is one which Library Journal contributor Joanna M. Burkhardt claimed "captures the essence of the struggle for self." Manhattanite Grace Brookman is married to journalist Laz, who has disappeared in the past for short periods of time; but this time he does not come back for months. As his absence lengthens, Grace leads his life for him rather than admit to his absence. For the benefit of the housekeeper, she leaves the toilet seat up and rumples the sheets on Laz's side of the bed. She continues his ritual of leaving coffee for the doorman and plays his favorite music so that the neighbors can hear. Grace comes to realize that she had never been fully aware of Laz's life when friends mention that he has e-mailed them or when one says she saw him in a television interview. She continues her charade, however, fooling her parents and their friends as well, until the day Laz returns. By then, however, Grace has learned self-reliance, accepted her failed marriage for what it is, and returned to her own interests, which include sculpting.
A Publishers Weekly contributor wrote that the author "knows how to confound her readers' preconceptions even as she carries her captivating premise to a surprising denouement. Gripping and dreamy, this tale will please fans of Margaret Atwood and Alice Hoffman." Rocky Mountain News critic Justin Matott noted Single Wife's "great examination of lives lived for others, fine character development, and lively, fresh writing." And a Kirkus Reviews writer concluded that Single Wife is "a strong debut" that is set apart by "its spirit of playful inventiveness."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Booklist, April 15, 2003, Joanne Wilkinson, review of Single Wife, p. 1451.
Kirkus Reviews, April 1, 2003, review of Single Wife, p. 504.
Library Journal, June 15, 2003, Joanna M. Burkhardt, review of Single Wife, p. 102.
Publishers Weekly, May 12, 2003, review of Single Wife, p. 42.
Rocky Mountain News, December 5, 2003, Justin Matott, review of Single Wife, p. D30.*