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Morningside Heights: A Novel
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Published:
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group 2021
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Description
When Ohio-born Pru Steiner arrives in New York in 1976, she follows in a long tradition of young people determined to take the city by storm. But when she falls in love with and marries Spence Robin, her hotshot young Shakespeare professor, her life takes a turn she couldn’t have anticipated.
 
Thirty years later, something is wrong with Spence. The Great Man can’t concentrate; he falls asleep reading The New York Review of Books. With their daughter, Sarah, away at medical school, Pru must struggle on her own to care for him. One day, feeling especially isolated, Pru meets a man, and the possibility of new romance blooms. Meanwhile, Spence’s estranged son from his first marriage has come back into their lives. Arlo, a wealthy entrepreneur who invests in biotech, may be his father’s last, best hope.
 
Morningside Heights is a sweeping and compassionate novel about a marriage surviving hardship. It’s about the love between women and men, and children and parents; about the things we give up in the face of adversity; and about how to survive when life turns out differently from what we thought we signed up for.
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Format:
Adobe EPUB eBook, Kindle Book, OverDrive Read
Street Date:
06/15/2021
Language:
English
ISBN:
9781524748364
ASIN:
B07ZC6N4ZN
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Joshua Henkin. (2021). Morningside Heights: A Novel. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Joshua Henkin. 2021. Morningside Heights: A Novel. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Joshua Henkin, Morningside Heights: A Novel. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2021.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Joshua Henkin. Morningside Heights: A Novel. Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, 2021. 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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Date Added:
Jun 11, 2021 15:30:28
Date Updated:
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Nov 28, 2021 15:34:47
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Nov 28, 2021 15:34:51
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      • bioText: JOSHUA HENKIN is the author of the novels Swimming Across the Hudson (a Los Angeles Times Notable Book), Matrimony (a New York Times Notable Book), and The World Without You (winner of the 2012 Edward Lewis Wallant Award for American Jewish Fiction and a finalist for the 2012 National Jewish Book Award). He lives in Brooklyn, New York, and directs the MFA program in Fiction Writing at Brooklyn College.
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title
Morningside Heights
fullDescription
When Ohio-born Pru Steiner arrives in New York in 1976, she follows in a long tradition of young people determined to take the city by storm. But when she falls in love with and marries Spence Robin, her hotshot young Shakespeare professor, her life takes a turn she couldn’t have anticipated.
 
Thirty years later, something is wrong with Spence. The Great Man can’t concentrate; he falls asleep reading The New York Review of Books. With their daughter, Sarah, away at medical school, Pru must struggle on her own to care for him. One day, feeling especially isolated, Pru meets a man, and the possibility of new romance blooms. Meanwhile, Spence’s estranged son from his first marriage has come back into their lives. Arlo, a wealthy entrepreneur who invests in biotech, may be his father’s last, best hope.
 
Morningside Heights is a sweeping and compassionate novel about a marriage surviving hardship. It’s about the love between women and men, and children and parents; about the things we give up in the face of adversity; and about how to survive when life turns out differently from what we thought we signed up for.
reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: Kirkus
      • content:

        April 15, 2020
        A superstar literature professor is struck down in his prime in the cruelest possible way. "So you're sleeping with your professor," Camille said. "Weren't you the one lecturing about the casting couch?" OK, it's a #MeToo novel, you're thinking, set at Columbia in the 1970s, about a relationship between a 22-year-old Ph.D. student named Prudence Steiner and her only-six-years-older Shakespeare professor, Spence Robin, a dashing, auburn-haired campus idol who rides her around the Upper West Side on his moped. But Henkin's fourth novel turns out to be a different sort of story entirely--tragedy rather than outrage. Pru drops out, gets married, gets pregnant while Spence gets two Guggenheims, a Mellon, and a MacArthur. But talent and good luck are ultimately no match for early-onset Alzheimer's. Pru is 51 and Spence 57 and their only child, Sarah, has just left for medical school when discomfiting things begin to happen. Spence is cold all the time, misreads a party invitation, and, most critically, can't seem to make any headway on his book project, a new, annotated Shakespeare--though it would provide income they desperately need to support his disabled sister and his son, Arlo, from his brief first marriage. Henkin specializes in melancholy stories about complicated families, and this one is a real heartbreaker. His portrait of Pru is nuanced and sensitive, following her into one of the darkest places a spouse can go and hitting the notes just right. The other point-of-view character is Arlo, a dyslexic genius raised haphazardly by his bohemian mom and his underinvolved dad--his trajectory is interesting but distant from the emotional core of the story. Some of the most powerful moments in the book are sudden insights into Spence's experience--more of these would have been welcome. Caring for a spouse with Alzheimers is an ever more common heartbreak, illuminated by this tender portrait of a marriage.

        COPYRIGHT(2020) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

      • premium: True
      • source: Publisher's Weekly
      • content:

        Starred review from April 27, 2020
        Henkin (The World Without You) brilliantly conveys the complexities of a New York City family in this humane, compulsively readable tale. In 2006, Shakespeare scholar Spence Robin, 57, is diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s, and his wife, Pru Steiner, is forced to return his book advance. Their daughter, Sarah, a med student, arrives from Los Angeles on a delayed flight, and Pru wryly reassures Sarah not to worry (“It’ll be good practice for when you’re a doctor. You’ll be keeping people waiting for the rest of your life”). The focus then turns to Arlo Zackheim, Spence’s son from his first marriage, whose vagabond, self-centered mother left him with an emptiness he finds hard to fill. At 15, Arlo came to live with Spence for two years, and the marked contrast between his past and living with an erudite, structured father; a kind stepmother; and a bright younger sister is drawn with humor and insight. Henkin reaches further back to describe how Pru escaped her Orthodox Jewish family in Ohio and landed in grad school at Columbia University in 1976, and shows how Spence was a wunderkind in Columbia’s English department, making the tragedy of his illness particularly poignant. Equally well handled is Pru’s transformation from wife and lover to caretaker—wrenching changes that Henkin conveys without dissolving into sentimentality or cliché, but rather leaving readers with a kernel of hope. This is a stunning achievement.

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

        January 1, 2020

        Award winner Henkin (Swimming Across the Hudson) travels to Morningside Heights, NY, where Pru faces the decline of husband Spence, once a celebrated Shakespeare scholar. The only person able to help is Spence's son from his first marriage, a wealthy biotech entrepreneur who has come to live with them.

        Copyright 2020 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

      • premium: True
      • source: Booklist
      • content:

        May 1, 2021
        In the mid-1970s, Pru Steiner moves to New York City to be an actress. She pursues a PhD instead and meets Spence Robin, the youngest tenured member of the English faculty at Columbia. They marry and soon welcome their daughter, Sarah. Spence's son from his first marriage, Arlo, has been moving around the country with his free-spirit mother. As a teenager, Arlo moves in with Pru and Spence. Diagnosed with dyslexia, he struggles to relate to a father whose whole life is devoted to books. In his late fifties, Spence starts to appear confused and fatigued. Early-onset Alzheimer's is discovered, and the family that was built around a man known for his mind has to watch him begin to lose it. Spanning decades, Morningside Heights follows Pru's evolving relationship to Judaism and her identity as a professor's wife. Sarah studies medicine and Arlo invests in biopharma, both wishing they could save their father. Henkin (The World without You, 2012) writes a moving, heart-wrenching account of a family's connections as they face a slow-moving goodbye.

        COPYRIGHT(2021) Booklist, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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shortDescription
A tender, powerful, and big-hearted novel about love in the face of loss, from the award-winning author of The World Without You and Matrimony

When Ohio-born Pru Steiner arrives in New York in 1976 after graduating from Yale, she follows in a long tradition of young people determined to take the city by storm. But when she falls in love with Spence Robin, her hotshot young Shakespeare professor, her life takes a turn she couldn't have anticipated.

Thirty years later, something is wrong with Spence. The Great Man can't concentrate; he falls asleep reading The New York Review of Books. With their daughter Sarah away at medical school, Pru must struggle on her own. One day, feeling particularly isolated, Pru meets a man, and the possibility of new romance blooms. Meanwhile, Spence's estranged son from his first marriage has come back into their lives. Arlo, a wealthy entrepreneur who invests in biotech, may be his father's last, best...
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