The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells by Andrew Sean Greer - PDF free download eBook


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1985. After the death of her beloved twin brother, Felix, and the breakup with her longtime lover, Nathan, Greta Wells embarks on a radical psychiatric treatment to alleviate her suffocating depression. But the treatment has unexpected effects, and G...

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Details of The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells

HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date
Age range
18+ Years
Book language
High quality OCR

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Some brief overview of this book

1985. After the death of her beloved twin brother, Felix, and the breakup with her longtime lover, Nathan, Greta Wells embarks on a radical psychiatric treatment to alleviate her suffocating depression. But the treatment has unexpected effects, and Greta finds herself transported to the lives she might have had if shed been born in different eras.

During the course of her treatment, Greta cycles between her own time and alternate lives in 1918, where she is a bohemian adulteress, and 1941, which transforms her into a devoted mother and wife. Separated by time and social mores, Gretas three lives are remarkably similar, fraught with familiar tensions and difficult choices. Each reality has its own losses, its own rewards, and each extracts a different price. And the modern Greta learns that her alternate selves are unpredictable, driven by their own desires and needs.

As her final treatment looms, questions arise: What will happen once each Greta learns how to remain in one of the other worlds? Who will choose to stay in which life?

Magically atmospheric, achingly romantic, The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells beautifully imagines what if and wondrously wrestles with the impossibility of what could be.

A few words about book's author

Andrew Sean Greer is the bestselling author of The Story of a Marriage and The Confessions of Max Tivoli, which was a Today book club selection and received a California Book Award. He lives in San Francisco.


Born in Washington, D.C., Andrew Sean Greer studied creative writing at Brown University (where he delivered the Commencement speech at his own graduation ceremony!) and received his M.F.A. in 1996 from the University of Montana. After grad school, he moved to the West Coast, living for a while in Seattle before finally settling in San Francisco. His work began to appear in literary magazines, and in 2000 he released How It Was for Me, an anthology of short stories The New York Times Book Review called an impressive first collection. One year later, his debut novel The Path of Minor Planets was published to much acclaim. However, it was his second novel, 2004s The Confessions of Max Tivoli, that proved to be Greers big breakthrough. The title character of this bittersweet love story is a freak of nature: Born a baby with the appearance of a 70-year-old man, Max proceeds to live his entire life in reverse, ending up a wise old man trapped in the body of a helpless child. In a glowing New Yorker review, literary legend John Updike proclaimed the novel ...enchanting, in the perfumed, dandified style of disenchantment brought to grandeur by Proust and Nabokov. It was named a year-end best book by The San Francisco Chronicle, The Chicago Tribune, and the Miami Herald. His most current work is The Story of a Marriage. In addition to his novels, Greer continues to publish short fiction, reviews, and criticism. His work has appeared in Esquire, Paris Review, The New Yorker, and The New York Times.

Good To Know

In our interview, Greer shared some fun and fascinating facts about himself with us: Im an identical twin. His name is Michael Greer and hes also a fiction writer, and though our styles are very different, we love reading each others work. We used to live a block apart in San Francisco, but he went to grad school in New York and now lives in Brooklyn, so if you think youve seen me on the streets of New York, its probably not me, but say hi anyway. Were both very used to being greeted by strangers who think were someone else. Some early jobs I had while trying to survive as a writer: reservationist at a fancy restaurant, chauffeur for a woman who couldnt drive because of a double mastectomy, sound and lighting Technician for experimental theater in New York, acting extra on Saturday Night Live, game tester for Nintendo, attendant to a woman recovering from plastic surgery, and so on. Although every writer must have a day job, I vowed at least to make mine interesting so Id have something to write about. One of my weirdest jobs — touring New England private schools with a Vietnamese boy and pretending to be his English tutor — made it into the first story of my collection, How It Was for Me. I like dogs and burritos. I dislike direct sunlight and cantaloupes.

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