The Last of Her Kind

The Last of Her Kind A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the YearA Christian Science Monitor Best Book of the YearSigrid Nunez s The Last of Her Kind introduces two women who meet as freshmen on the Columbia campus in

  • Title: The Last of Her Kind
  • Author: Sigrid Nunez
  • ISBN: 9780312425944
  • Page: 107
  • Format: Paperback
  • A San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the YearA Christian Science Monitor Best Book of the YearSigrid Nunez s The Last of Her Kind introduces two women who meet as freshmen on the Columbia campus in 1968 Georgette George does not know what to make of her brilliant, idealistic roommate, Ann Drayton, and her obsessive disdain for the ruling class into which she was born SA San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the YearA Christian Science Monitor Best Book of the YearSigrid Nunez s The Last of Her Kind introduces two women who meet as freshmen on the Columbia campus in 1968 Georgette George does not know what to make of her brilliant, idealistic roommate, Ann Drayton, and her obsessive disdain for the ruling class into which she was born She is mortified by Ann s romanticization of the underprivileged class, which Georgette herself is hoping college will enable her to escape After the violent fight that ends their friendship, Georgette wants only to forget Ann and to turn her attention to the troubled runaway kid sister who has reappeared after years on the road Then, in 1976, Ann is convicted of murder At first, Ann s fate appears to be the inevitable outcome of her belief in the moral imperative to make justice in a world where there are no innocent white people But, searching for answers to the riddle of this friend of her youth, Georgette finds complicated and mysterious forces at work.The novel s narrator Georgette illuminates the terrifying life of this difficult, doomed woman, and in the process discovers how much their early encounter has determined her own path, and why, decades later, as she tells us, I have never stopped thinking about her.

    One thought on “The Last of Her Kind”

    1. This book really spoke deeply to me through the character of Ann. The first question it raised was: How can someone from an affluent background be a social justice activist? The book revealed all the contradictions inherent in this question. Ann was so offensive at times, especially at the beginning (e.g wanting a room mate as different from her as possible and being disappointed that George wasn't Black). Also, she wished she had lived George's life, not realizing that if she actually had, she [...]

    2. I have to admit that this book is full of things I love: seven sister colleges, New York City, counterculture (and its backlash), the social movements of the 60s and how they evolved in the 70s, unhealthy female friendships.While there was a romance that I felt was a misstep, I thought that the author made such interesting choices in the way she chose to structure and reveal her story that I was won over in the end. Utterly moved, I became way too involved with this story.In a lot of ways, Georg [...]

    3. It took me a long time to read this book, but that shouldn't be misconstrued as negative criticism. I liked this book quite a lot, enough to give a copy to my mother for her birthday. (She didn't like it as much as I did, and this annoys me more than it should*.) Though I normally blow through a book, I took my time with this novel. I wanted to think about the things the main character experienced, especially the disintegration of her friendship with her unusual college roommate,Ann, and her ina [...]

    4. The plot of this novel seemed so interesting; two college freshmen from opposite backgrounds becoming friends during a very turbulent time in American history. Author Sigrid Nunez tries so hard, a little too hard, to include every event, stereotype, and social issue that occurred in the 1960s and 1970s that it comes across at times as a sort of social studies project rather than novel. There is just too much going on, too many points of view, too many sad cases, too many lost souls, too much cli [...]

    5. Somehow this book manages to be very readable yet horrible. The storyline does not match up with the blurb; only peripheral characters are interesting and sympathetic; the whole thing was like like this character Georgette's journal - except that Georgette is the kind of shallow person that I run far from. There is no depth to this character. I can't help but think that in the tangent where Georgette talks about her second husband, a critic, it's like the author is daring the audience to critici [...]

    6. Recommendation from Jezebel:This was the best book I read in 2006, and for a long time it was my favorite novel. Two roommates meet at Barnard in 1968 — Ann comes from a wealthy family and Georgette is working-class. As Ann becomes a radical and gets deeply embroiled in the racial politics of the 1970s, Nunez examines her activism through the eyes of Georgette, to whom it sometimes seems like a luxury. Ann turns out to be disturbingly committed to her cause, but the position of a privileged pe [...]

    7. I like it but was a bit confused at times about who the book was actually about. It changed tenses a couple times, which was explained once and not explained at another time. It was sad but had a satisfying ending. I think this book will stay with me for awhile. And I love when that happens with any book. It gave me some things to think about - mostly about our relationships with others and how that shapes us. The fight that the two characters had in the book wasn't really that believable to me [...]

    8. I loved this book! The characters are exactly my age. I identified with the character who arrives at Barnard, the first in her family to go to college. While her family was very disfunctional, and mine wasn't, I identified with her feeling totally out of place in the environment of a prestigious private university. The scope of the book takes us to the present, but most of it develops the story back in the late 60's. This was a book I picked up hoping it would deliver what the cover blurb hinted [...]

    9. I'm very much wavering between five stars and three stars for this book, but somehow have decided to settle on five instead of rounding out to four. Since I'd definitely recommend the book, I'm going with five.The book traces the story of two women who are assigned as roommates at Barnard in 1968. Rich, privileged Ann from Connecticut who is thoroughly idealistic and romanticizes poverty and minority status meets escaped from poverty Georgette who finds Ann both fascinating and horrifying. The b [...]

    10. I am fascinated by 1968 and this was a great portrait of the time, as well as an interesting character study regarding idealism of that time, and putting things into modern perspective. I really liked these characters. none of them seemed perfect, but all of them seemed real.

    11. Wow. I had never even heard of Sigrid Nunez until I found myself reading an article about the best fictional depictions of life in America for those about to enter adulthood (meaning, college students) in the late 60s and early 70s. Speaking as one who attended college from 1966-70, and whose life followed a pretty meandering path for about five years after that, I can say this is - by far - the best such book on that era, those times, that I have ever read. And it kept getting better. Nunez is [...]

    12. Complex and engaging. The Last of Her Kind is a very familiar kind of person, especially if you were politically active in the late 1960s-early 70s. Enjoyed the structure until the end when the last 10 pages or so feel like too easy an ending, but that's a minor quibble.

    13. Although an older novel, it is actually pretty relevant in today's America as well. Thought-provoking and nostalgic, too. Excellent book.

    14. lapauselibrairie.wordpressEn lisant le résumé je pensais lire un livre à la Courtney J. Sullivan, auteure que j’adore. De plus quand l’équipe des Editions Rue Fromentin m’a dit que mon auteure chouchou l’avait adoré, je pensais encore plus que ça allait être ce style là. Mais en fait pas du tout (enfin parfois si).Georgette raconte l’histoire d’elle-même et d’Ann, sa pote de fac. Ca commence plutôt bien, on comprend comment elles en sont venues à se rencontrer, leurs hab [...]

    15. I tend to avoid books set in the U.S. post-WWII. The ones that aspire to genuine literary merit tend toward pretention, high-handedness, and tedium. But The Last of Her Kind is different: it’s a well-written, thoughtful, thematically rich and, above all, an interesting book.In 1968, Georgette George and Ann Drayton are assigned to room together at Barnard College. Georgette grew up in poverty in upstate New York; Ann comes from a rich family in Connecticut, but in an effort to disavow her priv [...]

    16. I also finished reading Last of Her Kind by Sigrid Nunez (I totally want to write that with an enya), and it was good. The novel is the story of a friendship formed at Barnard in the 60s betwen a woman from a poor family (the narrator) and a woman who was from a wealthy family but rejected her roots (Ann). There is a lot of unpleasant activist-ese in the book - enough that there are some ponderous portions early on. Things get a bit more interesting later on after the narrator leaves college and [...]

    17. This is an astounding book about two friends coming of age in the 60s and 70s with all the turbulence of those times. Ann is a wealthy only child of privilege who requests a roommate from the opposite economic situation. Georgette (George) is a scholarship student from upstate New York. She is totally mystified on why Ann rejects her family and life. They become close friends, but the friendship is ruptured with a nasty argument where George slaps Ann's face. They have no contact and then Ann is [...]

    18. This book was interesting in several ways. Written in non-linear first-person memoir form, it is in fact a novel, but includes the kind of personal character and emotion-driven detail one normally only sees in non-fiction. The narrator is often teasing about this blurred line between memoir and fiction, noting when events in the story - which is fiction, but from the narrator's point of view is memoir, seems to click rather conveniently with novelistic device. I found that rather clever.On the o [...]

    19. I didn't think this was the great novel about the '60's and its effects that it was supposed to be. Sure, it provides some window on the intense radical political aspect of the '60's countercultural revolution as well as on some of the personal/social changes coming out of that period.However, I think among the weaknesses of the book are: a title character who is way too extreme to really be any kind of representative of the era (at one point in the book she is compared to Simone Weil); and a na [...]

    20. I couldn't put this book down but I didn't like where the story went as well as some of the material of the book. Georgette George, the first in her family to go to college, is escaping her dead-end town and strange family. Her roommate is Ann Drayton, a fiercely idealistic woman who despises the upper-class society she was raised in and throws herself into the revolutionary times of the 1960's. She protests against Vietnam and is all about changing "the system." Eventually, Ann and Georgette pa [...]

    21. W passed along The Last of Her Kind with some requested Markson tomes as an example, and I'm sure I'm going to do him a great injustice with this paraphrase and blame the wine, bocce, and kiteflying for all misrememberance, of women writers nailing the bigger, non parlor issues of life (I kindly direct you to the better chunk of my favorites section for some other ideas, W.) But then we argue over whether Spirited Away or Princess Mononoke is the more totemic Miyazaki (the essence of identity, t [...]

    22. I wasn’t as crazy about this book as I expected to be or as much as many other reviewers wered I have been trying to figure out why. I was led to this book through the recommendation of Katy Keim in her BookSnob blog where she touts it as her “best book of 2009.” It was not so for me.Simply put, I did not like the character of Ann in this story- the rich girl activist who had nothing but disdain for her upbringing, parents, and privileged life and who thought that it was only the poor who [...]

    23. This book really gets you thinking about privilege: racism, classism, sexism. It shatters illusions of self-righteousness, while still remaining optimistic. Though it was published a decade ago (and it takes place in the 60s), it's super pertinent to today, especially in a post-Trump elected America.

    24. In 1968, Georgette and Dooley are unlikely roommates in a Barnard dorm. Georgette "George" was raised by a punitive "monster" of a mother in hard-scrabble upstate New York; Dooley, who now goes by "Ann" attempts to cast off the shackles of her uber-privileged Connecticut upbringing by joining the burgeoning counter-cultural revolution. Eventually, both women find the bourgeois academy irrelevant and drop out after their sophomore years. And following Barnard they "drop out" in a sense again: Geo [...]

    25. The Last of Her Kind by Sigrid NunezI'm not quite sure what I think of this book. It's well written.It's the story of the lifelong relationship between the first person"author" and her college roommate. They are my contemporaries, growingup and starting college in the late 60s. They are very differentpeople; the "author" being from an abusive, not well off, rural background and her roommate being from a very wealthy, loving family. Theroommate hates her parents, her wealth, her entitlement, her [...]

    26. I bought this book a few years back when the author spoke at my library, and have finally gotten around to reading it. This was definitely an "English-major" novel. While I mostly enjoyed reading it and found the characters engaging (although I can't decide how I feel about most of them!), I'm not really sure I "got" it, especially the ending -- after the long chunk told by a different narrator (that others have mentioned), it just seemed to kind of end, abruptly, without really reaching much of [...]

    27. I was bracing myself for this novel to either entirely disappoint or completely wow me. I was drawn in by the late-sixties setting and stayed for the characters. The two main ones(Georgette, a smart, nervous girl from a poor community in the next-door-to-Canada part of New York State, the first one in her family to attend college, she also serves as the narrator; and Ann, the rich kid who wants to be poor, heavily involved in student activism and helping others) could have easily been written as [...]

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