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Love, Etc. by Bel Kaufman (Excerpt)

Love, Etc. by Bel Kaufman (Excerpt)

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Published by OpenRoadMedia
Jessica is divorced, but on the verge of a great romance. Isabel—the lead character in the novel that Jessica is writing—is married, but on the verge of a terrible divorce. While grappling with heartache, the two women, author and creation, plunge into the unpredictable currents of love, hate, despair, and recovery. Told through diary entries, letters, and Jessica’s notes documenting her painful progress toward coping with her past, Love, Etc. is a powerful, unforgettable, and totally human novel about the heart’s power to heal.
Jessica is divorced, but on the verge of a great romance. Isabel—the lead character in the novel that Jessica is writing—is married, but on the verge of a terrible divorce. While grappling with heartache, the two women, author and creation, plunge into the unpredictable currents of love, hate, despair, and recovery. Told through diary entries, letters, and Jessica’s notes documenting her painful progress toward coping with her past, Love, Etc. is a powerful, unforgettable, and totally human novel about the heart’s power to heal.

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Published by: OpenRoadMedia on Sep 13, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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09/29/2013

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 LOVE, ETC.
By Bel Kaufman
 Dear Nina— 
 Here I am again, waving you as an excuse to avoid writing my book. I dotry, but “a man cannot jump higher than his head,” as Varya says. Nor woman, either. The Russians have a proverb for everything. Yes, I know I promised to tell you about her, and I will, perhaps in my next letter.In the meantime, my friends are still trotting out men for me. I met a rather attractive one the other night at a dinner party—amusing, cultivated, rich,with silver hair and smoke-colored eyes. Not one of my usual lame ducks, but a weird duck. A bit of a poseur, I think: he speaks too many languagesand smiles with too many teeth. I was on my guard with him, burnt child thatI am. It looks as if he has skipped town. I doubt that I’ll see him again.Instead, fate brought me Professor Sumner Simms. Besides bearing aeuphonious name, he’s very strong on masculinity: tweedy, with carefullytailored leather patches on his elbows, and a proper pipe between his teeth.He’s a friend of my brother’s, who has thrust him upon me a few times inthe hope that it would take. How can it, when the man wears on a gold chainon his vest the largest size Phi Beta Kappa key that is made? I almost felt Ishould wear my own in self-defense, but— 
 
 
I’m afraid that seeing
my
keyMight upset his macho psyche!Anyhow, he called for me last night to escort me to the EGG. You may wellask. The EGG stands for the English Graduate Group—an august society of  pedants of which my brother Victor is an honored member. The EGG washolding its annual Shakespeare Symposium. That’s why Professor Simmswas at my door.“Please call me Sumner,” he said winningly.“But Professor Simms seems less formal, somehow.” Wecompromised. He called me Jessica; I called him: “By the way.” Not toosure of my Shakespeare, I said: “By the way, I’m going to take notes, so thatI will look intelligent.”“You already,” he said gallantly, “look intelligent.”That was the beginning of what proved to be a strange evening’sentertainment. In the hallowed halls of the Pen & Quill Club, surrounded by books permanently embedded in oak-paneled walls and by huge oil portraitsof scholars and founders, some thirty eminent Shakespearean scholars wereassembled to discuss Shakespeare. Unfortunately, most of the evening wasspent in the chairman’s iambic attempt to collect dues. They all had to speak in Shakespeare’s words, presumably recognizing the playful references. This

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