Standard Deviation by Katherine Heiny

Like her novel Early Morning Riser, this book centers on a relationship between a man, his ex wife and his new wife (or girlfriend). This novel is told from the man’s perspective – Graham. In addition, each story has a vulnerable person. In Early Morning Riser, it is Duncan’s employee who is mentally challenged. In Standard Deviation, it is their son Matthew, who has Asperger’s syndrome. The title comes partially from an interview with a psychologist who tells Graham and Audra that some of Matthew’s social interactions are a standard deviation from normal.

Continue reading…

Early Morning Riser by Katherine Heiny

The purpose of art is to encapsulate a slice of life in writing, painting, sculpture, or other medium and present it in a way that shows the human condition. Katherine Heiny has written a humorous and poignant novel that captures 17 years of Jane’s life between 2002 and 2019. We can see ourselves in Jane as she works through an ordinary life filled with the mundane, the tragic, and the sublime.

Continue reading…

Leaving Cheyenne by Larry McMurtry

When Larry McMurtry died earlier this year I decided to re-read some of his earlier works. Leaving Cheyenne is his second novel and I was struck by two things: 1) I remembered very little about the story. I thought I knew the plot but as I read it it struck me that I only recalled about the first third from my first reading over 40 years ago. 2) This story is another telling of the classic Larry McMurtry theme of a strong-willed woman and a strong-willed man (think Augustus McCrae and Clara Allen in Lonesome Dove.)
Continue reading…