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The Resource Standard deviation : a novel, Katherine Heiny

Standard deviation : a novel, Katherine Heiny

Label
Standard deviation : a novel
Title
Standard deviation
Title remainder
a novel
Statement of responsibility
Katherine Heiny
Creator
Author
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
"The celebrated author of Single, Carefree, Mellow, returns with her debut novel--a rueful, funny examination of love, marriage, infidelity, and origami. Divorcing his wife to marry his girlfriend, Audra, is the one impulsive thing Graham Cavanaugh has ever done. Audra is charming and spontaneous and fun, but life with her can be exhausting, constantly interrupted by phone calls, burdened by houseguests, and populated by old men with backpacks full of origami paper. As Graham and Audra struggle to define their marriage and raise a child with Asperger's, they decide to establish a friendship with his first wife, Elspeth. But former spouses are hard to categorize--are they friends, enemies, old flames, or just people who know you really, really well? Graham starts to wonder: How can anyone love two such different women? Did he make the right choice? Is there a right choice? A novel as poignant as it is hilarious, Standard Deviation never deviates from superb"--
Tone
Writing style
Character
Review
  • Heiny’s first novel, following her story collection, Single, Carefree, Mellow (2015), offers an absorbing character study of modern-day relationships and parenthood. Graham lives in New York with his younger second wife, Audra, and their 10-year-old son, Matthew. Graham is the more reserved of the pair, while the loquacious Audra seems to makes friends with every person she meets. One day Graham unexpectedly runs into his ex-wife, Elspeth, whom he left for Audra. At Audra’s urging, they set up a double date with Elspeth and her current boyfriend. Subsequent encounters between the two couples lead Graham to begin to examine and question the state of his current relationship as he ends up spending more time with Elspeth. Meanwhile, Graham and Audra struggle to find the best way to parent Andrew, whose unique social needs present all kinds of challenges. Heiny’s characters are authentic, witty, and infused with life, and they hold their secrets close, whether to protect the ones they love or merely themselves. Heiny’s novel offers a nuanced consideration of commitment, acceptance, and the desire for personal connection. -- Strauss, Leah (Reviewed 4/15/2017) (Booklist, vol 113, number 16, p21)
  • This first novel from Heiny (Single, Carefree, Mellow) meanders cheerfully along, making up for its relative lack of action with its humor and insight into characters. Introverted, middle-aged Graham has been married for 12 years to his talkative, younger second wife Audra, and he’s beginning to wonder whether they’re really suited for each other, or if he should have stuck with his “tall and slim and regal” attorney ex-wife Elspeth, with whom he’s just begun speaking again. Graham and Audra have a 10-year-old son, Matthew, who is socially awkward and obsessed with origami, and about whom they spend a good deal of their mental energy worrying. They host Thanksgiving for an assortment of quirky characters, including the misfit adults from Matthew’s origami club; take their son and a friend they nickname “Derek Rottweiler” on an ill-fated fishing expedition; and attend an unexpected funeral. Heiny has a flair for peculiar but believable dialogue, and a generous attitude towards even the most inept characters, particularly Graham, whose befuddlement about his life choices and his longing to smooth things out for his son persist throughout the changes in his life. At the heart of the novel is a finely tuned awareness of the fragility of the most seemingly permanent connections and the ambivalence shot through even the hardiest forms of love. (May) --Staff (Reviewed 03/20/2017) (Publishers Weekly, vol 264, issue 12, p)
  • Manhattan husband and father Graham Cavanaugh knows that he shouldn't compare his second wife, Audra, to first wife, Elspeth, but the contrast is too pronounced to ignore. Audra is always socializing and insisting that Graham participate even as he wistfully yearns for his more orderly existence with Elspeth. Yet, life with Graham and Audra's son, Matthew, a middle schooler with Asperger's, necessitates a wide social safety net, whether with Matthew's origami club members or with the few friends he makes at school. Graham simply can't revert to his Elspeth days but must jump on the crazy train with vivacious Audra and enjoy the ride. In this debut novel, (after the short story collection Single, Carefree, Mellow), Heiny handles the sensitive material with a deft, always humorous touch. VERDICT Contemporary fiction fans fond of urban settings and humor in the vein of Nora Ephron or Nick Hornsby should appreciate this tale of city life and marriage, while those searching for characters on the Asperger's spectrum could find young Matthew, portrayed as high functioning but challenging, authentic and recognizable as he navigates various connections with his parents and others. [See Prepub Alert, 11/14/16.]—Jennifer B. Stidham, Houston Community Coll. Northeast --Jennifer B. Stidham (Reviewed 03/15/2017) (Library Journal, vol 142, issue 5, p109)
  • /* Starred Review */ In her debut novel, the author of the charming short story collection Single, Carefree, Mellow (2015) matures into new (equally beguiling) terrain, exploring marriage, fidelity, friendship, and parenting.It's easy to see why Graham, one-half of the New York City couple at the center of Heiny's first novel, is enthralled by his wife of 12 years, Audra. While Graham, a medical-venture specialist at a venture capitalist firm, is steady, stable, and fond of "routine and order," Audra, a freelance graphic designer 15 years his junior, is an unrestrained force of good nature. Audra's vivacity offers a stark contrast to Graham's emotionally cool first wife, Elspeth, with whom the couple reconnects. Audra draws all manner of friends and random strangers into her orbit with her chatty sociability and almost unwavering cheer. She cannot make it through a trip to the grocery store without running into a million people she knows (Graham says it's like shopping with "a visiting dignity") and bonding big-time with the checkout guy, is constantly inviting people (a woman she barely knows from her book group whose husband has been unfaithful; their building's afternoon doorman, for a reason Graham cannot recall) to move into their den or eat at their table. Audra is forever on the phone, helping out with PTA activities at the school attended by their 10-year-old son, Matthew, who has Asperger's and is some kind of origami prodigy, or chatting with her best friend, Lorelei. Like Graham, the reader may be deeply enchanted with, if also somewhat mystified by, Audra. She's a wonderful character, as are many of those assembled around her, and the series of minor challenges she and Graham face (potential infidelities, possible pregnancy, challenging play dates, and other parental concerns)—she pluckily; he sheepishly—make for reading as delicious as the meals Graham is forever called into service to cook for whomever Audra happens to have invited by that night. To quibble, the episodic, somewhat attenuated plot lacks a degree of urgency and loses a bit of steam midway through, but it regains its footing by the end. And to spend 300-plus pages with Heiny's wry voice and colorful cast of characters is to love them, truly. An amusingly engaging take on long-term marriage with a lovably loopy character at its center.(Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 2017)
Assigning source
Provided by publisher
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
10562242
Cataloging source
TXN
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Heiny, Katherine
Dewey number
813/.6
Index
no index present
LC call number
PS3608.E3823
LC item number
S73 2017
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Divorced parents
  • Marriage
  • Parenthood
  • Man-woman relationships
Target audience
adult
Label
Standard deviation : a novel, Katherine Heiny
Instantiates
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
22 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
319 pages
Isbn
9780385353816
Lccn
2016034884
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • 986789827
  • (OCoLC)986789827
Label
Standard deviation : a novel, Katherine Heiny
Publication
Carrier category
volume
Carrier category code
  • nc
Carrier MARC source
rdacarrier
Content category
text
Content type code
  • txt
Content type MARC source
rdacontent
Dimensions
22 cm
Edition
First edition.
Extent
319 pages
Isbn
9780385353816
Lccn
2016034884
Media category
unmediated
Media MARC source
rdamedia
Media type code
  • n
System control number
  • 986789827
  • (OCoLC)986789827

Library Locations

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      515 Scotland Street, Williamsburg, VA, 23185, US
      37.377573 -76.770995
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