Joshua Henkin is the author of the novel Swimming Across the Hudson, which was selected by the Los Angeles Times as a notable book of the year; his short stories, essays, and reviews have appeared in many journals and newspapers. He teaches at Sarah Lawrence College, Brooklyn College, and the 92nd Street Y in New York City. He lives in Brooklyn; visit him online at www.joshuahenkin.com.
Julian Wainwright is the WASPy son of Yalie Richard Wainwright III and Constance Wainwright, a Wellesley graduate. He loves his parents and doesn't mind being rich, but he is ready to escape. So in 1986 he heads off to Graymont College, a small liberal arts college in Massachusetts, where he can pursue his writing and leave his heritage behind for awhile. During the course of the year, he meets the lovely Mia Mendelsohn while doing laundry. They are both smitten and begin a love affair that lasts 20 years. Of course, it isn't without its ups and downs. Mia loses her mother to breast cancer her senior year and hangs onto the life she knows by marrying Julian. They then head to Michigan, where she will attend graduate school and he will work on his novel. Best friend Carter Heinz figures prominently in Julian's life, and it's while visiting Carter in California that Julian learns a secret that threatens to tear his life apart. While not earthshakingly original, this novel takes a good look at love, friendship, and marriage from the Reagan years to the new century. Recommended for larger collections.-Robin Nesbitt, Columbus Metropolitan Lib., OH Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
In 1987, Manhattan-reared hothouse flower Julian Wainwright matriculates at the alternative Graymont College for the express purposes of attending Professor Stephen Chesterfield's exclusive fiction writing workshop. As Chesterfield dryly infuses his writing wisdom, Julian befriends the cocky, aloof, lesser-born Carter Heinz when they are the only two to whom Chesterfield gives the nod. Carter soon meets Pilar in the cafeteria; Julian meets Mia in the laundry room. Carter's simmering class resentment of Julian surfaces. Senior year finds the two couples living next door to one another and plotting their futures. Henkin (Swimming Across the Hudson) subsequently follows the lovers for the next 15 years through countless college towns, family dramas, failed literary projects and the dot-com boom. Many scenes are too long, and never get below the surface of the cast, particularly wannabe-litterateur Julian. But for a book called Matrimony, Henkin offers surprisingly little about Julian and Mia's marriage, so when big confrontations do arrive, they quickly slide into melodrama. By then, lines like "But I don't want to get my M.F.A. Can't you understand that? I've already been in enough writing workshops" will have cleared the classroom. (Oct.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
"Charming. . . . Henkin keeps you reading with original characters, witty dialogue and a view that marriage, for all its flaws, is worth the trouble." --People"Beguiling....[Henkin writes] effortless scenes that float between past and present....[He creates] an almost personal nostalgia for these characters." --Jennifer Egan, The New York Times Book Review"Elicits a passionate investment in the fate of its characters - truly an up-all-night read." --The Washington Post"Beautifully render[s] the give and take, back and forth of marriage over the long haul. --The News and Observer