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The Virginity of Famous Men
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Bloomsbury Publishing 2016
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Description

The Virginity of Famous Men, award-winning story writer Christine Sneed's deeply perceptive collection on the human condition, features protagonists attempting to make peace with the paths they have taken thus far. In "The Prettiest Girls,†? a location scout for a Hollywood film studio falls in love with a young Mexican woman who is more in love with the idea of stardom than with this older American man who takes her with him back to California. "Clear Conscience†? focuses on the themes of family loyalty, divorce, motherhood, and whether "doing the right thing†? is, in fact, always the right thing to do. In "Beach Vacation,†? a mother realizes that her popular and coddled teenaged son has become someone she has difficulty relating to, let alone loving with the same maternal fervor that once was second nature to her. The title story, "The Virginity of Famous Men,†? explores family and fortune.Long intrigued by love and loneliness, Sneed leads readers through emotional landscapes both familiar and uncharted. These probing stories are explorations of the compassionate and passionate impulses that are inherent in—and often the source of—both abiding joy and serious distress in every human life.

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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
09/13/2016
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781620406977
ASIN:
B01DM9Q6IA
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Christine Sneed. (2016). The Virginity of Famous Men. Bloomsbury Publishing.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Christine Sneed. 2016. The Virginity of Famous Men. Bloomsbury Publishing.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Christine Sneed, The Virginity of Famous Men. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2016.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Christine Sneed. The Virginity of Famous Men. Bloomsbury Publishing, 2016. Web.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2010. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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      • role: Author
      • fileAs: Sneed, Christine
      • bioText: Christine Sneed is the author of Little Known Facts. She has a creative writing MFA from Indiana University and teaches creative writing at DePaul University, Northwestern University and Pacific University. Portraits of a Few of the People I've Made Cry won AWP's 2009 Grace Paley Prize in Short Fiction, was a finalist for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize, first-fiction category, was named the Chicago Writer's Association Book of the Year, and the recipient of Ploughshares' 2011 first-book prize, the John C. Zacharis Award. It was also long-listed for the Frank O'Connor International Short Story Award and named one of the seven best books of the year by Time Out Chicago. Her stories have appeared or are forthcoming in Best American Short Stories, PEN/O. Henry Prize Stories, Ploughshares, Southern Review, Massachusetts Review, New England Review, Notre Dame Review, and a number of other journals. Visit her website at http://www.christinesneed.com.
      • name: Christine Sneed
imprint
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      • value: Fiction
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publishDate
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shortDescription

The Virginity of Famous Men, award-winning story writer Christine Sneed's deeply perceptive collection on the human condition, features protagonists attempting to make peace with the paths they have taken thus far. In "The Prettiest Girls,†? a location scout for a Hollywood film studio falls in love with a young Mexican woman who is more in love with the idea of stardom than with this older American man who takes her with him back to California. "Clear Conscience†? focuses on the themes of family loyalty, divorce, motherhood, and whether "doing the right thing†? is, in fact, always the right thing to do. In "Beach Vacation,†? a mother realizes that her popular and coddled teenaged son has become someone she has difficulty relating to, let alone loving with the same maternal fervor that once was second nature to her. The title story, "The Virginity of Famous Men,†? explores family and fortune.

Long intrigued by love and loneliness, Sneed leads readers through...

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title
The Virginity of Famous Men
fullDescription

The Virginity of Famous Men, award-winning story writer Christine Sneed's deeply perceptive collection on the human condition, features protagonists attempting to make peace with the paths they have taken thus far. In "The Prettiest Girls,†? a location scout for a Hollywood film studio falls in love with a young Mexican woman who is more in love with the idea of stardom than with this older American man who takes her with him back to California. "Clear Conscience†? focuses on the themes of family loyalty, divorce, motherhood, and whether "doing the right thing†? is, in fact, always the right thing to do. In "Beach Vacation,†? a mother realizes that her popular and coddled teenaged son has become someone she has difficulty relating to, let alone loving with the same maternal fervor that once was second nature to her. The title story, "The Virginity of Famous Men,†? explores family and fortune.

Long intrigued by love and loneliness, Sneed leads readers through emotional landscapes both familiar and uncharted. These probing stories are explorations of the compassionate and passionate impulses that are inherent in—and often the source of—both abiding joy and serious distress in every human life.

sortTitle
Virginity of Famous Men
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reviews
      • premium: False
      • source: New York Times Book Review
      • content: Snared by each of the collection's tragic, comic, quirky and/or quotidian lives . . . the reader tears through page after page and by the end feels not only bereft but ravenous, hungry for more . . . Fiercely meditative and unnerving short fiction.
      • premium: False
      • source: The Bookseller (UK), featured, boxed review
      • content: This is an absolute gem of a collection, each perfectly formed story encompasses a world.
      • premium: False
      • source: Los Angeles Review of Books
      • content: Sneed's strength is her characters
      • premium: False
      • source: Publishers Weekly
      • content: Readers will find themselves invested in these worlds and lives. Tenderly portrayed and sharply observed. A rich collection.
      • premium: False
      • source: Chicago Tribune
      • content: [An] impressive and expansive story collection . . . From the rich and famous to the down and out, Sneed's characters are exposed by life's twists and turns, their inner struggles laid bare as they seek connection to the people they love most.
      • premium: False
      • source: Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel
      • content: Sneed is excellent on the poetry of glamour, how it holds up well from a distance and dissolves on approach.
      • premium: False
      • source: The National Book Review
      • content: Christine Sneed's smart and sexy new short story collection, The Virginity of Famous Men . . . focuses less on the pursuit of sex and love than on the more complicated matter of love's fallout . . . It's that emotional heft that interests Sneed, and she mines it to great effect and with incredibly precise prose.
      • premium: False
      • source: Washington Independent Review of Books
      • content: Only the wild imagination of Christine Sneed could have invented these funny, intimate, and exceptionally moving stories.
      • premium: False
      • source: San Francisco Chronicle
      • content: With this brilliant new collection, Christine Sneed clinches her place among the greatest writers of her generation. These hilarious, heartbreaking, perfect stories will charm you, seduce you, change the way you see the world.
      • premium: False
      • source: Chicago Review of Books
      • content: Rich and mesmerizing. Here is love caught in the headlights. Here is a master of the short story form.
      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        July 25, 2016
        Sneed's impressive and expansive story collection (following Portraits of a Few of the People I've Made Cry) exposes the vulnerabilities of life's many relationships: parents and children, friends, siblings, and lovers. "Beach Vacation" sets the tone for the collection, opening with the strained bond between a mother and her teenage son as she expresses her disappointment over the man he has grown to be. The tension switches from parental failure to comic satire with tales of Hollywood: "The First Wife," about the first wife of a famous movie star and his inevitable infidelity; a middle-aged producer falling for a starstruck wannabe in "The Prettiest Girls"; and, in the title story, an American who flees to Paris to escape his famous father's shadow. Each character's point of view reflects the myriad anxieties of modern life and love, the pressure to make moral choices, the failure of decisions, and the fear of what comes next. When a recently divorced woman finds work at a call center in "Words That Once Shocked Us," she befriends a colleague seeking attention outside her new marriage; she would rather have a friend than no one to share her love with. From the rich and famous to the down and out, Sneed's characters are exposed by life's twists and turns, their inner struggles laid bare as they seek connection to the people they love most .

      • premium: True
      • source: Library Journal
      • content:

        September 1, 2016

        In the opening story of this collection from a Grace Paley Prize winner also noted for her novels (Paris, He Said), a mother exasperated by what she sees as her son's stubbornly inappropriate love interest suddenly slaps him. They move off "as if nothing had happened, but she knew that something irrevocable had." Throughout, Sneed repeats that sense of the irrevocable, of the consequences coming from acts large and small, inadvertent or not. A man scouting movie locations in Mexico gets entangled with a beautiful young woman who follows him back to Pasadena and displaces a more appropriate girlfriend. A functionary serving wealthy, conniving men feels trapped, yet he knows that he would be replaced by "a newer version of himself" if he quits. The first, modest writer wife of a gorgeous film star knows she will be replaced but can't stop her coming downfall. VERDICT Juicy, readable stories for the genre's fans.

        Copyright 2016 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        July 1, 2016
        Sneed follows her recent novel (Paris, He Said, 2015, etc.) with a new, wide-ranging collection of short stories.Bad behavior is a touch point for the stories in Sneed's new collection--not scorchingly bad behavior but the potentially more interesting acts at the borders of societal decency. Often, the questionable quality of her characters' choices is something that comes to light as the story progresses, either to the characters themselves or to a close observer. "Beach Vacation" tracks a mother as she recognizes, with despair, the entitled attitude of her teenage son. "Couplehood Jubilee" centers on a young woman whose loved ones are warmly indulgent of her entitled ideas. Protagonists in "Clear Conscience" and "Words that Once Shocked Us" are possibly complicit witnesses to infidelity. Both also share a sense of having reached middle age only to find themselves emotionally stunted by recent minor disasters, a theme that is present in much of the collection. The vulnerable girls in "Five Rooms" and "Older Sister" are in need of guidance and care that they find hard to attain. Many of the stories hint at the ridiculous or otherworldly; the title character from "Roger Weber Would Like to Stay" is in fact a ghost, but everything else in the story is perfectly mundane. "The First Wife," "The Prettiest Girls," and "The Virginity of Famous Men" are each narrated by a Hollywood-adjacent character and hint at an entire culture with a different moral code, the title story revisiting the family at the heart of Sneed's first novel, Little Known Facts (2013). A melancholy floats through the collection like Roger Weber through walls. Though most stories stop short of promising hope, readers will find themselves invested in these worlds and lives. Tenderly portrayed and sharply observed. A rich collection.

        COPYRIGHT(2016) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        Starred review from August 1, 2016
        Sneed (Paris, He Said, 2015) debuted as an exceptionally incisive short story writer, and, after two exquisitely involving novels, she returns to the form to extend her signature reconnaissance of treacherous terrain, namely the dynamics of sexual power, the eroticism of fame, and the impossibility of sequestering pain. Sneed creates characters of startling emotional presence and pits them against each other in duets of escalating tension and unnerving disappointment. A mother and her teenage son experience a shocking rupture while on vacation. A disaffected 16-year-old girl, recruited to help a man who has lost his sight, begins to perceive the world more subtly and compassionately. A college student struggling with the repressed trauma of a campus rape meets a half-sister she never knew she had. Sneed illuminates Hollywood's alluring toxicity in two tales, including the title story, which returns to the megastar and his son from Little Known Facts (2013), though it stands firmly on its own. These marvelously precise and lucid stories, so rich in psychological insights, so propulsive, switch from funny to wrenching in a heartbeat. Like Ann Beattie, Amy Hempel, and Edith Pearlman, Sneed, as attuned to our buzzing-hive world as she is, writes timeless stories richly human in their empathy and wit, grace, and toughness.(Reprinted with permission of Booklist, copyright 2016, American Library Association.)

popularity
33
publisher
Bloomsbury Publishing
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