The History Of Great Things: A Novel

Paperback | April 5, 2016

byElizabeth Crane

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A witty and irresistible story of a mother and daughter regarding each other through the looking glass of time, grief, and forgiveness.

In two beautifully counterpoised narratives, two women—mother and daughter—try to make sense of their own lives by revisiting what they know about each other. The History of Great Things tells the entwined stories of Lois, a daughter of the Depression Midwest who came to New York to transform herself into an opera star, and her daughter, Elizabeth, an aspiring writer who came of age in the 1970s and ’80s in the forbidding shadow of her often-absent, always larger-than-life mother. In a tour de force of storytelling and human empathy, Elizabeth chronicles the events of her mother’s life, and in turn Lois recounts her daughter’s story—pulling back the curtain on lifelong secrets, challenging and interrupting each other, defending their own behavior, brandishing or swallowing their pride, and, ultimately, coming to understand each other in a way that feels both extraordinary and universal.

The History of Great Things is a novel about a mother and daughter who are intimately connected and not connected enough; it will make readers laugh and cry and wonder how we become the adults we always knew we should—even if we’re not always adults our parents understand.

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From the Publisher

A witty and irresistible story of a mother and daughter regarding each other through the looking glass of time, grief, and forgiveness.In two beautifully counterpoised narratives, two women—mother and daughter—try to make sense of their own lives by revisiting what they know about each other. The History of Great Things tells the entwi...

From the Jacket

“I’ve long been an admirer of Elizabeth Crane’s absolutely unique voice—no one else working in contemporary American letters sounds quite like her. This is an important work, fearless in both structure and vision, with Crane’s razor-edge fusion of intelligence, humor, and emotion informing every chapter.”—Jamie Quatro, author of I Want...

Elizabeth Crane has been a preschool teacher and a tutor for child actors. She lives in Chicago.

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:288 pages, 8 × 5.31 × 0.65 inPublished:April 5, 2016Publisher:HarperCollinsLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0062412671

ISBN - 13:9780062412676

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“Like everything Elizabeth Crane writes, The History of Great Things is wonderful fun to read-smart, insightful, and witty-but it will break your heart, too. It stares down the poignant question so many daughters want to ask: How well did my mother really know me?”