176 pages, 7.99 × 5.19 × 0.47 in
November 5, 1997
Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 0375703063
ISBN - 13: 9780375703065
Read from the Book
She hasn't been dead four months and I've already eaten to the bottomof the deep freeze. I even ate the green peas. Used to I wouldn't turnmy hand over for green peas. My whole name is Blinking Jack Ernest Stokes, stokes the fire, stokesthe stove, stokes the fiery furnace of hell! I've got a nerve problem inback of the face so I blink. June nicknamed me for it when she was little.My wife's name was Ruby Pitt Woodrow Stokes. She was a real prettywoman. Used to I used to lay up in bed and say, "Don't take it off in thedark! I want to see it all!" Ruby died with lung cancer in March. She wasn't but forty-five, young woman to die so early. She used to tell me, she'd say, "What's good for the goose is good for the gander. I imagine I'll stop smoking about the time you stop drinking." June's daddy, Burr, told me one time people feed on each other's bad habits, which might could be true except for one thing, I'm not really what I would call a drinking man. I hardly ever take a drink except when I need one. But Ruby died and they laid her out and crossed her hands over her bosom, and I said to them, "I never saw her sleeping like that." They said but that's the way everybody was laid, so I said, "Fine then, I'll let her be." I did lean over in the coffin though and fix her fingers so the nicotine stains wouldn't show. Ruby had the creamiest soft skin and I hated to have brown spots ruin her for people. Suppose you went to view somebody who'd died being shot or stabbed somewhere so y
From the Publisher
When Blinking Jack Stokes met Ruby Pitt Woodrow, she was twenty and he was forty. She was the carefully raised daughter of Carolina gentry and he was a skinny tenant farmer who had never owned anything in his life. She was newly widowed after a disastrous marriage to a brutal drifter. He had never asked a woman to do more than help him hitch a mule. They didn't fall in love so much as they simply found each other and held on for dear life.
Kaye Gibbons's first novel, Ellen Foster, won the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters and the praise of writers from Walker Percy to Eudora Welty. In A Virtuous Woman, Gibbons transcends her early promise, creating a multilayered and indelibly convincing portrait of two seemingly ill-matched people who somehow miraculously make a marriage.
About the Author
Kaye Gibbons lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, with her husband, Michael, and their three daughters, Mary, Leslie, and Louise. Her first novel, Ellen Foster, was awarded the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, and was accorded a special citation by the Ernest Hemingway Foundation.
From Our Editors
When Blinking Jack Stokes met Ruby Pitt Woodrow, she was 20 and he was 40. She was the daughter of Carolina gentry. He was a skinny tenant farmer who had never owned anything in his life. They didn't fall in love so much as they simply found each other and held on for dear life.
"Kaye Gibbons shows us the secret core of a love that easily outlasts death. It's invisible mastery—but mastery all the same." —Reynolds Price
"So true and so vital I would swear that there were moments when A Virtuous Woman actually vibrated in my hands." —Atlanta Journal-Constitution
"Complex, compact . . . onen thinks of a Lillian Hellman play. . . . The architecture of this novel is remarkable." —Padgett Powell, The New York Times Book Review