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The House of Mirth

Best-Selling Author Writes a Romance Novel To Prove Her Superiority

Lev Raphael | Posted 04.28.2016 | Books
Lev Raphael

Novelist Curtis Sittenfeld has been getting beaten up by romance writers and readers because she's said that most romance novels are badly written. T...

The Good Old Days in English Class?

Lev Raphael | Posted 06.04.2016 | College
Lev Raphael

I respect the fact that my course isn't the center of my students' lives; I understand this isn't the 70s or any other decade. It's now, and college has changed drastically.

Sexist Jonathan Franzen Bashes Edith Wharton

Lev Raphael | Posted 05.24.2016 | Women
Lev Raphael

Planning to teach Wharton soon, I took another look at Franzen's New Yorker hatchet job on Edith Wharton, and it was worse than I remembered. The critics' darling praises her classics The House of Mirth, The Custom of the Country, and The Age of Innocence but grossly misreads her character and her life.

Growing Up With the Holocaust as a Writer

Lev Raphael | Posted 06.16.2015 | Religion
Lev Raphael

As a youth I thought being the son of survivors was a burden, but I gratefully came to see it as a gift because it not only gave me a mission, it was the first subject that animated my writing. It's what helped me find my voice.

Valentine's Day, Secret Love, and Edith Wharton

Lev Raphael | Posted 04.02.2015 | Women
Lev Raphael

Edith Wharton is not a writer you tend to think of on Valentine's day. Her marriage was unhappy and the affair she had in her forties was with a faithless cad (it was a secret until the 1970s).

Downton Abbey, Edith Wharton, and the Jews

Lev Raphael | Posted 03.28.2015 | Entertainment
Lev Raphael

The series is imbued with the preoccupations of Wharton's fiction. Just like the women in The House of Mirth, the Grantham daughters have had few choices aside from marrying a man, preferably one with money.

Giving Edith Wharton's Jew a Makeover

Lev Raphael | Posted 03.26.2015 | Religion
Lev Raphael

I suppose I could have forgotten The House of Mirth and just shrugged her off as another WASP writer stewing in her class prejudices. But I enjoyed Wharton's work too much, had written about it and even taught her fiction over the years. And The House of Mirth is just too powerful a book to ignore.

Rebuilding The House of Mirth: A Blog for Edith Wharton's Birthday

Lev Raphael | Posted 03.26.2015 | Books
Lev Raphael

I understood that the authors were products of their society and a western culture that was ingrained with Jew-hatred, but it still pushed me out of the book the way a plot implausibility can make you lose faith in a movie.

Novels Do Not Need Warning Labels

Lev Raphael | Posted 03.05.2015 | Books
Lev Raphael

If someone had warned me that Wharton's novel could be upsetting or painful for whatever reasons, I might have avoided it, skimmed it, or turned to Cliffs Notes. I would have missed a book that helped change my life.

Edith Wharton Rocked My World

Lev Raphael | Posted 03.27.2013 | Books
Lev Raphael

Wharton just had her 151st birthday, and I feel like she's been part of my life for decades. I wouldn't say that she haunts me, exactly, but she's lodged in my consciousness like a rich piece of chamber music -- the Schubert quintet, perhaps -- continually revealing new depths.

Edith Wharton: Then and Now

Jocelyn Kelley | Posted 09.18.2012 | Books
Jocelyn Kelley

What is it about Edith Wharton and her work that is so timeless? Why are we still reading, relating and retelling her vivid stories?

Edith Wharton Is Hot

Lev Raphael | Posted 08.19.2012 | Books
Lev Raphael

Nobody's expecting Wharton to ever be as popular as Jane Austen. After all, Wharton had a much more jaundiced view of life than Austen did, and she's unlikely to be hijacked as a writer of romances, the way Austen has been.

A Dearth of Mirth at the End of Many Great Novels

Dave Astor | Posted 12.11.2011 | Books
Dave Astor

After just finishing The House of Mirth, I'm reminded once again that many great novels don't have happy endings.

What Work Could Gilded Age Women Do?

Lev Raphael | Posted 08.14.2011 | Women
Lev Raphael

Remember Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth? Remember how faded socialite Lily Bart drops down the social ladder, from unpaid secretary for her wealt...

Rebuilding Edith Wharton's House of Mirth

Lev Raphael | Posted 08.02.2011 | Books
Lev Raphael

Certain books change your life, and Edith Wharton's The House of Mirth changed mine. The novel's brilliance blew me away in college, deepening my desi...

The Best-Dressed Characters In Literature

flavorwire.com | Judy Berman | Posted 05.25.2011 | Books

If you're the kind of person who's into transformational mid-life journeys told with self-deprecating charisma, the you're probably pretty psyched abo...