OVERRIDE

The Story of a Marriage

A Novel

Andrew Sean Greer

Picador

A Today Show Summer Reads Pick

A Washington Post Book of the Year

"We think we know the ones we love." So Pearlie Cook begins her indirect, and devastating exploration of the mystery at the heart of every relationship--how we can ever truly know another person.

It is 1953 and Pearlie, a dutiful young housewife, finds herself living in the Sunset District in San Francisco, caring not only for her husband's fragile health, but also for her son, who is afflicted with polio. Then, one Saturday morning, a stranger appears on her doorstep, and everything changes. Lyrical, and surprising, The Story of a Marriage is, in the words of Khaled Housseini, "a book about love, and it is a marvel to watch Greer probe the mysteries of love to such devastating effect."

BOOK EXCERPTS

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We think we know the ones we love.
Our husbands, our wives. We know them—we are them, sometimes; when separated at a party we find ourselves voicing their opinions, their taste in food or books, telling an anecdote that never happened to us but happened to them. We watch their tics of conversation, of driving and dressing, how they touch a sugar cube to their coffee and stare as it turns white to brown, then drop it, satisfied, into the cup. I watched my own husband do that every morning; I was a vigilant wife.
We think we know them. We think we love them. But what we love turns out
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MEDIA

Watch

  • Andrew Sean Greer and Daniel Handler in Conversation

    Daniel Handler, aka Lemony Snicket of A Series of Unfortunate Events, interviews Andrew Sean Greer about San Francisco, writing about the past, and the weight he does(n't) feel of previous San Francisco literary giants.

  • The Story of a Marriage by Andrew Sean Greer--Audiobook Excerpt

    Listen to this audiobook excerpt from Andrew Sean Greer's novel The Story of a Marriage. "We think we know the ones we love." So Pearlie Cook begins her indirect, and devastating exploration of the mystery at the heart of every relationship--how we can ever truly know another person.

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REVIEWS

Praise for The Story of a Marriage

"Inspired, lyrical . . . Mr. Greer's considerable gifts as a storyteller ascend to the heights of masters like Marilynne Robinson and William Trevor. . . . [He] seamlessly choreographs an intricate narrative that speaks authentically to the longings and desires of his characters."--S. Kirk Walsh, The New York Times

"A beautiful, lyrical novel . . . a book full of urgent questions."--O, The Oprah Magazine, Recommended Summer Reading

"Andrew Greer writes with an aching clarity of the heart. This is an exquisite story with shattering realizations about love."--Amy Tan, author of The Joy Luck Club and Saving Fish from Drowning

"This is a haunting book of breathtaking beauty and restraint."--Dave Eggers, author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius and What Is the What

"Greer doles out revelations with grace and precision. . . . [His] prose is unerringly poetic . . . . What can be seen plainly on every page of this slim, lovely novel is Greer's prodigious talent."--Connie Ogle, The Miami Herald

"Bewitching . . . A book whose linguistic prowess and raw storytelling power is almost disruptive to the reader. It's too good to put down and yet each passage is also too good to leave behind....Every twenty pages or so, the plot implodes and the characters reveal themselves."--Devorah Vankin, Los Angeles Times

"The chronicle of one marriage, closely and elegantly examined . . . The new novel is built on several narrative surprises that cannot (or should not) be revealed. . . . The Story of a Marriage is more than worth the reader's attention. It's thoughtful, complex, and exquisitely written."--Carolyn See, The Washington Post

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Andrew Sean Greer

  • Andrew Sean Greer is the bestselling author of five works of fiction, including The Story of a Marriage, which The New York Times has called an "inspired, lyrical novel," and The Confessions of Max Tivoli, which was named a best book of 2004 by the San Francisco Chronicle and the Chicago Tribune. His stories have appeared in The New Yorker, Esquire, and The Paris Review. He is the recipient of the Northern California Book Award, the California Book Award, the New York Public Library Young Lions Award, the O Henry Award for short fiction and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the New York Public Library. Greer lives in San Francisco.
  • Andrew Sean Greer Copyright Henry Dombey
    Andrew Sean Greer
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Available Formats and Book Details

The Story of a Marriage

A Novel

Andrew Sean Greer

Washington Post Best Books of the Year

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Picador

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