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Book details
  • Genre:FICTION
  • SubGenre:Literary
  • Language:English
  • Pages:40
  • Paperback ISBN:9780578302270

Until Now

Five Stories

by Jane Katims

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Until Now, a set of five linked short stories, follows Janey—first as a child, then as an adolescent and adult—as she deals with loss and challenging family dynamics. The settings range from suburban New Jersey to New York to Boston. In the first story, "Without a Hitch," Janey attends the wedding of a cousin who is terrified of getting married. In the title story, "Until Now," she strives to develop her theatrical and artistic talents while struggling with feelings of isolation in the face of her mother's illness and death. In "An Opening Through Time," as she prepares for her own wedding, Janey realizes how profoundly her mother's life trajectory has shaped her own attitudes towards marriage and motherhood. In "Algonquin" and "Pentimento," stories which span decades, Janey inhabits vibrant Manhattan, as well as the quiet Jersey town of her early years—and, in both places, she discovers the mystery and power of memory.
In the story collection Until Now, Janey, the main character and first-person narrator, is in high school when her mother dies from a protracted illness. The stories show—through vivid scenes of childhood and adolescence—the sense of loss and alienation that Janey experiences as a result of her mother's death. The stories then go on to document how Janey uses her experience to grow into a creative adult. An ever-increasing understanding of her past informs her future and insures her resiliency. Characters in the book include: Janey's ailing and distressed mother; her father, who owns a store by the Jersey shore; an array of aunts who live in Brooklyn; and several beloved cousins and neighborhood friends, who substitute for siblings since Janey is an only child. The stories follow Janey through her later years when she marries and has children of her own. These stories appeal to readers who appreciate literary fiction that explores the psychology of loss as well as the fascinating complications and vicissitudes of family relations and friendships.
About the author
Jane Katims has written and co-produced six radio series for Wisconsin Public Radio, one earning her a Peabody Award in Broadcasting. She is the author of the poetry collection, Dancing on a Slippery Floor and has published stories in a number of literary magazines. She teaches literature and creative writing at The Cambridge Center for Adult Education and at Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Tufts University. Jane is a member of the Board of Visitors of the English Department at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She lives with her family near Boston, Massachusetts.