"Sixteen-year old Amy has the usual problems with her single mom. Amy's affair with her math teacher creates problems that ripple outward from their little family and seem to affect the whole town. A lyrical look at a difficult topic."
"A wildly funny, brilliantly inventive novel about a man torn between two obsessions: the desperate need to win back his former wife and a craving to test his erotic charms on every woman he meets.
"He is 6'6" tall, a cross between Ichabod Crane and Abe Lincoln. He is a professor of linguistics, bewitched by language, deluded about his ability to win the hearts of women with his erudition and physical appeal. He is Thomas H. Chippering, a.k.a. Tomcat, a masterly addition to the pantheon of unforgettable characters in American fiction."
Eight linked stories tracing the history of a painting by the 17th-century Dutch artist, Vermeer. In one, he paints his daughter to pay off debts, a second story describes the loss of the ownership papers, a third takes place on the eve of its theft by the Nazis.
When you are growing up, there are two institutional places that affect you most powerfully -- the church, which belongs to God, and the public library, which belongs to you. The public library is a great equalizer.