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Adeline79
Posts: 63
Registered: ‎03-17-2009
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Re: The Writing Circle: Final Chapters and Whole Novel

Overall, I would have liked the novel to be developed further and to be longer. It felt like just a small snippet of numerous lives. For example, we never got to know how things went with Chris and his dispute with his ex-wife over there two boys. There were a lot of loose ends like that. But I did enjoy the book as a whole and I guess it did feel like a slice of life with all its loose ends and unresolved events.

 

As far as the infidelity theme - it almost seemed overdone. I think that this theme could have been toned down by limiting it to just one of the characters or something.

http://thereadingjourney.blogspot.com
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TudorRose
Posts: 97
Registered: ‎01-31-2010
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Re: The Writing Circle: Final Chapters and Whole Novel

How is fidelity a major subject of the novel, in terms of all the kinds of relationships presented--in love relationships, in friendships, and among peers? What are some of the ways characters are faithful, and in what ways do characters betray each other?

 

Fidelity is the main theme of the novel.  We see that played out in the relationships of all the characters.  Nancy, Virginia and Chris are extremely loyal and faithful in their relationships.  Bernard, Adam and Gillian are on the other end of the spectrum in that they are more self-centered and focused on themselves which leads them to be unfaithful to lovers/friends.

 

Chris is a faithful father, even with the trouble his ex-wife gives him, even going as far as to lie to the children to make him look bad.  He wants to lose it on her, and who could blame him, but he keeps it together and remains faithful to who he is as a man and as a father.  He is also loyal to the members of The Writing Circle.  He is outraged by what Gillian has done and offers Nancy his support.

 

Virginia is also strongly in Nancy's corner.  She is the first member of the Leopardi's to see what Gillian has done and is instrumental in making sure that Gillian does not win the Pulitzer.  Virginia is loyal to her family and in the beginning of the novel was still loyal to Bernard even though their marriage was over.  She accepted his faults and was able to look beyond them and forge a mature friendship with him.  However, this begins to change as Gillian's actions are uncovered.  She begins to doubt Bernard's faithfulness to her when she realizes that he is indifferent to what Gillian has done to Nancy's novel.  This shift in her perception was very interesting. 

 

How does jealousy play a role in the novel, and for whom? Is there any jealousy that might be considered healthy?

 

Jealousy can be healthy.  It can spur you on to finish a project, it can make you believe that you too can do something that a friend has accomplished.  It can be healthy if it makes you look at yourself or your situation in a different light and motivates you in a positive way to do your own thing.  Jealousy is unhealthy when it totally consumes you and causes you to lash out at others to hurt them.  Gillian is completely motivated by negative jealousy.  She is harshly critical of the other writers in the circle, not necessarily to help them, but to make herself feel superior.  Amy is jealous of Bernard's outside interests because she is shallow and threatened by anyone who may have any influence on Bernard.  She is even jealous of her own baby and neglects him.

 

How do you re-evaluate the characters other than Gillian in these final chapters? Have new aspects of each (or any) of them been revealed to us?

 

I don't think that we saw any new aspects of Chris and Virginia's characters.  We saw their loyalty and strength of character throughout the novel.  Bernard also, I think, remained a bit of a weak character.  He was still completely self-absorbed and only helped Virginia bring down Gillian because Amy was there and he was afraid of what her reaction would be if he didn't give Virginia the information he wanted.  He didn't help out of a sense of outrage of the violation Gillian perpetuated against Nancy and the group, but out of self-preservation to try to maintain the status quo in his marriage.  I was most surprised by Adam.  I did not expect him to help Virginia find the information to knock Gillian out of the Pulitzer race,  I thought he would support Gillian with his blind devotion and his misplaced affection for her.  I was happy that Nancy decided to do something about Gillian's treatment of her novel and father, however, I was disappointed that by doing so she thought she was a bad person.  I felt that she had stood up for herself and her work, but in the end she sort of caved and remained a bit passive.

 

How do you see the ideas of justice and injustice here--are the issues always clear, or are we left with any ambiguity about events that outrage us in the novel?

 

I think that there is ambiguity about nearly every aspect of the novel and for a reader that is a bit frustrating for me.  We don't know what happens to Nancy's novel, does she abandon it or pursue publication?  What happens with Chris and his ex-wife and their children?  What about with the money that might have been hidden.  Another post gave an interesting theory that his attorney might have been embezzling from him, but that is another thread to the story that is left hanging.  We don't find out if Virginia is justified in her doubt of Bernard's faithfulness while they were married.  While this is not a major point of the story, the author brings it up, gets us thinking about it and doesn't provide a resolution.

 

And what about Paul?  Does he live, does he die.  Gillian couldn't have been driving very fast in the driveway, he could have survived.  My feeling is that he probably died trying to save Kim, but we don't know this.  Most importantly, we don't know what happens with Gillian.  Does she go to trial for what she does to Paul?  Is she able to avoid justice?  She is good at getting out of trouble and deflecting the consequences of her actions.  Gillian even mentions that she may have been negligent in forgetting to turn on her headlights, but it wasn't criminal and the law makes that distinction.  If anyone could convince the police/judge/jury that they weren't guilty it is Gillian.  I wish that there were a little more closure for these story points in the novel.  I feel like there wasn't much closure in the novel for me.

Kimberly from Ohio

"A room without a book is like a body without a soul"
~Marcus Tullius Cicero
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thewanderingjew
Posts: 2,247
Registered: ‎12-18-2007
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Re: The Writing Circle: Final Chapters and Whole Novel

That was a very interesting summary. You may be onto something regarding cause and effect!


Sherry_Young wrote:....edited by twj....

From these clues we can infer that, as an indirect result of his selfish choices, Bernard was the intermediary killer. Without his existence, Paul would have survived.

Then again, Virginia would probably disagree...


 

 

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thewanderingjew
Posts: 2,247
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Re: The Writing Circle: Final Chapters and Whole Novel

[ Edited ]

I would like to thank you for participating.

It was an absolute "plea sure" :smileywink:, corresponding with you.

You are not alone, we have all been frustrated when the site freezes. Patience always wins out and we get to return like a cat with nine lives!

 


Corinne-Demas wrote:

There have been so many insightful comments on this thread!  

It's exciting for me to hear your thoughts about the novel as a whole and so rewarding to know that some of what I was trying to do really worked.

 

I was frustrated yesterday because the "reply" button on this program wasn't working for me, and although I could read what you were all writing, I couldn't say a word.  Ah, technology!

Please know that even if you don't hear anything from me, I'm reading every word and thinking about everything you say--and appreciate all your input!

 

--Corinne

 

 


 

 

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thewanderingjew
Posts: 2,247
Registered: ‎12-18-2007
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Re: The Writing Circle: Final Chapters and Whole Novel

Why thank you very much Vermont! That is really very kind of you. Then again, that is who you are and as someone once said to me..."I'm glad you met me!" You add to my life.


Vermontcozy wrote:

Twj...I always enjoy the points you bring up.and For me ,I always expect one to do what is right.as well..But we know that doesn't always happen and we hold people responsible for their actions..Which  as adults,it should be that way..Choices,we all have choices...Susan Vtc


 

 

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TrudiS
Posts: 10
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: The Writing Circle: Final Chapters and Whole Novel

I enjoyed reading The Writing Circle. At first blush, I wasn't sure if I would enjoy the book.  I initially felt that with all the different characters that I would get lost in the story.  I didn't.  The author left clues throughout the story to lead you back to who was who. I was drawn into the story and cared about the characters.  I was drawn in at the beginning.  I wanted to finish the book to find out what happened to each person and how they connected as a whole. I would have liked to have learned more about Chris and his family situation.  I did feel that the ending was a little rushed. It seemed like after Nancy found out what Gillian had done with her story that the story line moved at  break neck speed at that point. Maybe it had to in order to give the reader the breath taking ending.  I felt it was a surprise ending.  All and all, I enjoyed the book. I didn't post anything prior because I wanted to finish the book completely before I gave my opinion. I am appreciative of the opportunity to have a First Look.  

 

? This is my first time for the First Look and I am not sure what is meant by posting on the product page. Could someone please let me know? Thank you.

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fmessick
Posts: 22
Registered: ‎03-13-2010
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Re: The Writing Circle: Final Chapters and Whole Novel

After reading everyone else's take on the story....I'm not going to beat a dead horse.  Everything I was going to say about the fidelity has been said and I've noticed a couple things that I missed even.

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Vermontcozy
Posts: 5,276
Registered: ‎10-20-2008
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Re: The Writing Circle: Final Chapters and Whole Novel


thewanderingjew wrote:

Why thank you very much Vermont! That is really very kind of you. Then again, that is who you are and as someone once said to me..."I'm glad you met me!" You add to my life.


Vermontcozy wrote:

Twj...I always enjoy the points you bring up.and For me ,I always expect one to do what is right.as well..But we know that doesn't always happen and we hold people responsible for their actions..Which  as adults,it should be that way..Choices,we all have choices...Susan Vtc


 

 


 

Thank you Wandering,I feel the same way.(Blushing)..I am Glad you met me too..and each other..Best Vermont...

Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
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Corinne-Demas
Posts: 99
Registered: ‎04-07-2010
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Re: The Writing Circle: Final Chapters and Whole Novel

Dear Trudi--

Many thanks for your input.  I'm glad you joined the First Look Book Club just in time to read my novel. I did intend for the story to gather speed at the end as all the pieces fall into place.

From what I am hearing form everyone I need to write not only a sequel, but an entire book for each of the characters!

--Corinne  

 


TrudiS wrote:

I enjoyed reading The Writing Circle. At first blush, I wasn't sure if I would enjoy the book.  I initially felt that with all the different characters that I would get lost in the story.  I didn't.  The author left clues throughout the story to lead you back to who was who. I was drawn into the story and cared about the characters.  I was drawn in at the beginning.  I wanted to finish the book to find out what happened to each person and how they connected as a whole. I would have liked to have learned more about Chris and his family situation.  I did feel that the ending was a little rushed. It seemed like after Nancy found out what Gillian had done with her story that the story line moved at  break neck speed at that point. Maybe it had to in order to give the reader the breath taking ending.  I felt it was a surprise ending.  All and all, I enjoyed the book. I didn't post anything prior because I wanted to finish the book completely before I gave my opinion. I am appreciative of the opportunity to have a First Look.  

 

? This is my first time for the First Look and I am not sure what is meant by posting on the product page. Could someone please let me know? Thank you.


 

 

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Goodword
Posts: 111
Registered: ‎01-04-2010
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Re: The Writing Circle: Final Chapters and Whole Novel

How do you re-evaluate the characters other than Gillian in these final chapters? Have new aspects of each (or any) of them been revealed to us?

 

I thought the characterization of this novel was much like a short story's in that, with the exception of Nancy, the characters are revealed to us rather than developed.  I don't think I was surprised by any of the characters in the end, but I do see growth in Nancy.  While she is afraid that she has lost her moral compass, she is actually becoming more assertive. 

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TrudiS
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Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: The Writing Circle: Final Chapters and Whole Novel

Corrine,

 

Thank you for the opportunity to read your book. I look forward to any of your future books. Great idea to continue on with the Writing Circle characters.

 

All the best, Trudi S.

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Corinne-Demas
Posts: 99
Registered: ‎04-07-2010
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Re: The Writing Circle: Final Chapters and Whole Novel

Hi Goodword--

 

Yes, there's growth in Nancy--I'm glad you saw it.

 

Your comment about the character revelation working as it does in short stories is interesting--

I  love that form-- and to some extent I do think like a short story writer. .  (I've published two collections of my own short stories and edited the B&N anthology The American Short Story)

 

Thanks for your input!

--Corinne

 


Goodword wrote:

How do you re-evaluate the characters other than Gillian in these final chapters? Have new aspects of each (or any) of them been revealed to us?

 

I thought the characterization of this novel was much like a short story's in that, with the exception of Nancy, the characters are revealed to us rather than developed.  I don't think I was surprised by any of the characters in the end, but I do see growth in Nancy.  While she is afraid that she has lost her moral compass, she is actually becoming more assertive. 


 

 

Author
Corinne-Demas
Posts: 99
Registered: ‎04-07-2010
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Re: The Writing Circle: Final Chapters and Whole Novel

Hi Trudy-- Thanks so much!

All my books are on my website. www.corinnedemas.com -- and new ones will appear there.

You might enjoy my memoir about growing up in New York City, Eleven Stories High: Growing up in Stuyvesant Town, 1948--1968. 

Please join The Writing Circle fans on Facebook.

 

So many of you have been calling for a sequel to the Writing Circle, I guess I have my work cut out for me!

 

--Corinne

 


TrudiS wrote:

Corrine,

 

Thank you for the opportunity to read your book. I look forward to any of your future books. Great idea to continue on with the Writing Circle characters.

 

All the best, Trudi S.


 

 

Author
Corinne-Demas
Posts: 99
Registered: ‎04-07-2010
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Re: The Writing Circle: Final Chapters and Whole Novel

Hi Trudi--

Sorry about that spelling-- spellcheck seized the "Trudi" and turned it into a "Trudy" before I

realized it.

 

--Corinne


Corinne-Demas wrote:

Hi Trudy-- Thanks so much!

All my books are on my website. www.corinnedemas.com -- and new ones will appear there.

You might enjoy my memoir about growing up in New York City, Eleven Stories High: Growing up in Stuyvesant Town, 1948--1968. 

Please join The Writing Circle fans on Facebook.

 

So many of you have been calling for a sequel to the Writing Circle, I guess I have my work cut out for me!

 

--Corinne

 


TrudiS wrote:

Corrine,

 

Thank you for the opportunity to read your book. I look forward to any of your future books. Great idea to continue on with the Writing Circle characters.

 

All the best, Trudi S.


 

 


 

 

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Vermontcozy
Posts: 5,276
Registered: ‎10-20-2008
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Re: The Writing Circle: Final Chapters and Whole Novel

Hi Corinne..I am and I am sure many others would like/love some sort of sequel..I did feel that you have so much more inside of you to tell us..I will read 'Eleven Stories High" Growing up in Stuyvesant Town,1948-1968.My parents had friends that lived there.We lived At The now Part of NYU Law School Housing..The Building with all The colorful Balconies  Then we moved to Brooklyn..My parents bought a House and I missed The City so much..I went to The School of Visual Arts and Then I moved to Calif for school as well A year at The New School and Then lived last address on The Upper West Side  WestEnd Ave and 72nd Street..City Girls...Met my husband a Fordham boy and married and had a Baby 5 years later in Ga..So I traveled a bit..Worked at Bloomigdales during school..Just thought I would post this and I really didn't want TWC to end...I was unsure,then it all clicked Good Luck,Much Success and will Look for you in VT..I keep posting that so maybe your  Publicity Dept will see it...I am in Dorset Vt...we are a bit remote but Busy..at Our Bookstore Close By...Best Susan Vtc.

Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer
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EiLvReedn
Posts: 58
Registered: ‎05-25-2007
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Re: The Writing Circle: Final Chapters and Whole Novel

After I got past the first part of the novel the introductory piece which I still believe is Nancy's novel, the book got better and I really enjoyed it but I have to agree with some of the others here, it could have gone on a little or had an epilogue so we did find out what happened w/ Chris and his boys, etc. Would I recommend this book to anyone? not necessarily, it would have to be a patient reader and one who doesn't just like entertainment value in a book.  Would I read another book by this author? absolutely. 

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looptyloo
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Registered: ‎12-29-2009
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Re: The Writing Circle: Final Chapters and Whole Novel

 

How is fidelity a major subject of the novel, in terms of all the kinds of relationships presented--in love relationships, in friendships, and among peers? What are some of the ways characters are faithful, and in what ways do characters betray each other?

Fidelity seemed like it was an important part of the book. There is Paul not telling the secret of Gillian's novel, The group to each other. Nancy gets married which in many cases there is a vow of fidelity taken, . Fidelity not shown, by Gillian, by sleepung with Adam, Adam not being faithful to Kim for most of their relationship with his obsession with Gillian, Adam to those who have been published.

 

How does jealousy play a role in the novel, and for whom? Is there any jealousy that might be considered healthy?

Jealousy plays a huge role in the novel. It seems that each character in some way is jealous of another.

I think Adam was jealous of the others for being published. Gillian as we found out was probably jealous of the others ability to write novels. Virginia seemed jealous of Bernard's ability to make everything about himself. 

Jealousy that can be used to spur one on to greatness can be viewed as good I think.  

 

How do you re-evaluate the characters other than Gillian in these final chapters? Have new aspects of each (or any) of them been revealed to us? I think they each show that despite their jealousies of each other, they can rise to the occasion, and put their own egos aside to help one another. Chris didn't seem as selfish to me in the end, but he is the only character that seemed to have a character shift to me.

 

How do you see the ideas of justice and injustice here--are the issues always clear, or are we left with any ambiguity about events that outrage us in the novel?

Issues of right and wrong are never clear. Gillian leaving the scene of the crime, is wrong, but if she truly thought it was truly an animal is she wrong.

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Corinne-Demas
Posts: 99
Registered: ‎04-07-2010
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Re: The Writing Circle: Final Chapters and Whole Novel

Thanks for all you input!

 

You're right about moral questions rarely being perfectly clear-- and exploring that grey area is what I was trying to do in this novel.

 

--Corinne

 

 

 


looptyloo wrote:

 

How is fidelity a major subject of the novel, in terms of all the kinds of relationships presented--in love relationships, in friendships, and among peers? What are some of the ways characters are faithful, and in what ways do characters betray each other?

Fidelity seemed like it was an important part of the book. There is Paul not telling the secret of Gillian's novel, The group to each other. Nancy gets married which in many cases there is a vow of fidelity taken, . Fidelity not shown, by Gillian, by sleepung with Adam, Adam not being faithful to Kim for most of their relationship with his obsession with Gillian, Adam to those who have been published.

 

How does jealousy play a role in the novel, and for whom? Is there any jealousy that might be considered healthy?

Jealousy plays a huge role in the novel. It seems that each character in some way is jealous of another.

I think Adam was jealous of the others for being published. Gillian as we found out was probably jealous of the others ability to write novels. Virginia seemed jealous of Bernard's ability to make everything about himself. 

Jealousy that can be used to spur one on to greatness can be viewed as good I think.  

 

How do you re-evaluate the characters other than Gillian in these final chapters? Have new aspects of each (or any) of them been revealed to us? I think they each show that despite their jealousies of each other, they can rise to the occasion, and put their own egos aside to help one another. Chris didn't seem as selfish to me in the end, but he is the only character that seemed to have a character shift to me.

 

How do you see the ideas of justice and injustice here--are the issues always clear, or are we left with any ambiguity about events that outrage us in the novel?

Issues of right and wrong are never clear. Gillian leaving the scene of the crime, is wrong, but if she truly thought it was truly an animal is she wrong.


 

 

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literature
Posts: 499
Registered: ‎10-19-2006
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Re: The Writing Circle: Final Chapters and Whole Novel

Ht Vermontcozy,

I know your building "with all the colorful balconies".  We had similar backgrounds.  I grew up in Brooklyn, moved to Queens, then to central NJ where I still live.  I worked at RH Macys on 34th/Herald Square for my last two years in high school.  Went to City College and held various part time jobs in midtown during my four years at college.  I'm now only a 45 minute drive into midtown Manhattan and go there often.  In July I will be taking my two granddaughters into Manhattan for their first visit.  In the next few years I will be looking for a new place but haven't decided on a venue yet.

Literature

 

 


Vermontcozy wrote:

Hi Corinne..I am and I am sure many others would like/love some sort of sequel..I did feel that you have so much more inside of you to tell us..I will read 'Eleven Stories High" Growing up in Stuyvesant Town,1948-1968.My parents had friends that lived there.We lived At The now Part of NYU Law School Housing..The Building with all The colorful Balconies  Then we moved to Brooklyn..My parents bought a House and I missed The City so much..I went to The School of Visual Arts and Then I moved to Calif for school as well A year at The New School and Then lived last address on The Upper West Side  WestEnd Ave and 72nd Street..City Girls...Met my husband a Fordham boy and married and had a Baby 5 years later in Ga..So I traveled a bit..Worked at Bloomigdales during school..Just thought I would post this and I really didn't want TWC to end...I was unsure,then it all clicked Good Luck,Much Success and will Look for you in VT..I keep posting that so maybe your  Publicity Dept will see it...I am in Dorset Vt...we are a bit remote but Busy..at Our Bookstore Close By...Best Susan Vtc.


 

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Vermontcozy
Posts: 5,276
Registered: ‎10-20-2008
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Re: The Writing Circle: Final Chapters and Whole Novel


literature wrote:

Ht Vermontcozy,

I know your building "with all the colorful balconies".  We had similar backgrounds.  I grew up in Brooklyn, moved to Queens, then to central NJ where I still live.  I worked at RH Macys on 34th/Herald Square for my last two years in high school.  Went to City College and held various part time jobs in midtown during my four years at college.  I'm now only a 45 minute drive into midtown Manhattan and go there often.  In July I will be taking my two granddaughters into Manhattan for their first visit.  In the next few years I will be looking for a new place but haven't decided on a venue yet.

Literature

 

 


Vermontcozy wrote:

Hi Corinne..I am and I am sure many others would like/love some sort of sequel..I did feel that you have so much more inside of you to tell us..I will read 'Eleven Stories High" Growing up in Stuyvesant Town,1948-1968.My parents had friends that lived there.We lived At The now Part of NYU Law School Housing..The Building with all The colorful Balconies  Then we moved to Brooklyn..My parents bought a House and I missed The City so much..I went to The School of Visual Arts and Then I moved to Calif for school as well A year at The New School and Then lived last address on The Upper West Side  WestEnd Ave and 72nd Street..City Girls...Met my husband a Fordham boy and married and had a Baby 5 years later in Ga..So I traveled a bit..Worked at Bloomigdales during school..Just thought I would post this and I really didn't want TWC to end...I was unsure,then it all clicked Good Luck,Much Success and will Look for you in VT..I keep posting that so maybe your  Publicity Dept will see it...I am in Dorset Vt...we are a bit remote but Busy..at Our Bookstore Close By...Best Susan Vtc.


 


 

Good Morning  literature..I am such a private person,but I thought I would post this here because of where Corinne grew up.and knowing the similarities..Now you appear..Thats great..Very similar backgrounds I agree..Still Love "Macys"34th Street..Took my Daughter to one Thanksgiving Day Parade..Such Great Memories,all The Museums.Very near and dear to me.....I moved to VT..and find it Peaceful,and full of Culture and the nicest people..Lots of Authors,Artists,from NY live here...Its like a step back in time,but we have lots of shopping..In a Village Like setting... Its a Great place and also not too Far from NY.,NJ..Good Luck in your relocation..You will know.when its the right place for you..Best Susan..I live approx 5 miles from The Equinox Hotel.Manchester Village..05254.I use that as a Landmark and also"Orvis" in Manchester .Main Store  Its a beautiful place ..

..

Kindness,I've discovered,is everything in life...Issac Bashevis Singer