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The Last of Her Kind

A Novel

Sigrid Nunez

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

The Last of Her Kind introduces two women who meet as freshmen on the Columbia campus in 1968. Georgette George does not know what to make of her brilliant, idealistic roommate, Ann Drayton, and her obsessive disdain for the ruling class into which she was born. She is mortified by Ann's romanticization of the underprivileged class, which Georgette herself is hoping college will enable her to escape. After the violent fight that ends their friendship, Georgette wants only to forget Ann and to turn her attention to the troubled runaway kid sister who has reappeared after years on the road. Then, in 1976, Ann is convicted of murder. At first, Ann's fate appears to be the inevitable outcome of her belief in the moral imperative to "make justice" in a world where "there are no innocent white people." But, searching for answers to the riddle of this friend of her youth, Georgette finds more complicated and mysterious forces at work. As the novel's narrator, Georgette illuminates the terrifying life of this difficult, doomed woman, and in the process discovers how much their early encounter has determined her own path, and why, decades later, as she tells us, "I have never stopped thinking about her."

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Excerpted from The Last of Her Kind by Sigrid Nunez. Copyright © 2006 by Sigrid Nunez. Published January 2006 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux, LLC. All rights reserved.

We had been living together for about a week when my roommate told me she had asked specifically to be paired with a girl from a world as different as possible from her own.

She did not want a roommate from the same privileged world in which she had been raised, she said. She did not want a roommate who had been raised, as she had been (but this was my thought, not hers), to believe you could make this kind of special
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REVIEWS

Praise for The Last of Her Kind

Megan Marshall, The New York Times Book Review
"[A] carefully written and discerning narrative with closely drawn portraits of two prototypical yet unique women trying to construct a friendship across an unbridgeable class divide. . .Nunez's keen powers of observation make her a natural chronicler."

Andrew O'Hehir, Salon.com
"A writer of Nunez's piercing intelligence and post-feminist consciousness may well feel that writing the Great American Novel is no longer a feasible or worthwhile goal -- but damned if she hasn't gone and done it anyway."

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Sigrid Nunez

  • Sigrid Nunez's most recent novel is For Rouenna, a 2001 New York Times Notable Book. She has been the recipient of several awards, including a Whiting Writers' Award, the Rome Prize in Literature, and a Berlin Prize Fellowship. She lives in New York.
  • Sigrid Nunez ©Marion Ettlinger
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The Last of Her Kind

A Novel

Sigrid Nunez

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FROM THE PUBLISHER

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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