Literary Precedents for Olivia

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One critic has linked this novel to Woody Allen for its depiction of Upper West Side Jewish Manhattan and to Edith Wharton for its mores, but its main literary precedent seems to be none other than Rossner's own earlier novels, with which it shares significant themes about love, tradition, and female identity. The writing is lighter in this one, more filled with domestic detail. Occasionally it bogs down in pedantic lectures on food or preachy speeches on cultural differences. Critics range from saying, in Booklist, "she's back in top form in this bouillabaisse of a novel" to lamenting in The New York Times Book Review what might have been: "had Judith Rossner stirred those ingredients with her usually light hand, this might have been a delicious stew. Perhaps it only needed to cook a little longer, but somehow the recipe is wrong."

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This section contains 142 words
(approx. 1 page at 300 words per page)
Buy the Olivia Short Guide
Copyrights
Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults
Olivia from Beacham's Encyclopedia of Popular Fiction and Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.
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