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Household Words

Published as Norton paperback 2005,
with an introduction by Mona Simpson;
first published by Viking Penguin 1980.

What begins as a cozy family novel set in the New Jersey suburbs (the opening line is “Rhoda was pregnant in 1940”) becomes an unsettling chronicle—as Rhoda’s expectations are unraveled by an untimely death, an unexpected illness, and bitter discord at home. Shattering and powerful in its effects, without ever losing its wry touches of humor, Silber’s first novel took the popular form of the domestic novel and blasted deeper paths into it. An underground classic, re-issued.


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