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Gordon, Mary

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionBooks & Authors: Award-Winning Fiction (Fl-Ha)

(US, 1949– )

From her writer-father Gordon learned the value of ideas and ambitions, while her mother taught her how to remember jokes and dinner-table conversations. Both thoughtful and domestic, Gordon's honest, inventive novels examine the demands of desire versus duty, and the pain of family loyalties that divide and bind its members across the generations. Begin with Final Payments (1978), about the obediently Catholic but passionate Isabel, who has spent eleven years caring for her exacting father. Supported by two old schoolfriends, she becomes involved with two very different men. But before she steps into the future, she must make her final payments to her father's former housekeeper, the sinister yet needy Margaret. Men and Angels (1985) is about the chilling, unlovable Laura Post, who starts work as the perfect babysitter, with alarming results. The Other Side (1989) is an absorbing saga of Irish immigrants and their American descendants.

Antonia White, Liza Alther  JN

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