Mary Gordon

Works of fiction that address matters of heart and soul.



In her teaching at Barnard College and in her works of fiction, memoir, and literary criticism Mary Gordon probes questions of self, faith, love and femininity in the modern world. Her most recent novel, The Love of My Youth, finds former lovers meeting abroad for the first time in more than thirty years. Writing in The Barnes & Noble Review, Heller McAlpin praises Gordon's power to "probe questions about serendipity in life and love, and whether there is such a thing as a fated soulmate." This week, she picks three novels that illuminate how hard it is to love someone well, even ourselves.


Books by Mary Gordon



The Good Soldier

By Ford Maddox Ford


"Because it reminds us of the difficulty of knowing anything or anyone properly, the mysteries of sex, the conflict between an ideal of virtue and an actual living body."






The Diary of a Country Priest

By Georges Bernanos


"If for nothing else, for the end, "The great temptation: how easy it is to hate onself." And, "What does it matter, grace is everywhere?" This is a love story in the purest sense."






Pale Horse, Pale Rider

By Katherine Anne Porter


"One story in a collection, all wonderful, but this one is sublime. In a few pages it deals with life and death, war, romantic love, women and work...and makeup!"


April 15: "A page...will begin with some principles of astronomy, or the motion of the earth; then come the laws of sound..."

Donna Tartt's The Goldfinch is the winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. James Parker calls this Dickensian coming-of-age novel "an enveloping…

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
The Good Inn

Frank Black, frontman for the Pixies, has written a transgressive historical fiction with shades of Thomas Pynchon (focused as it is on the history of explosives and cinematic pornography), all set in a hallucinatory Edwardian Europe.

Dispute Over a Very Italian Piglet

Amara Lakhous delivers a mystery novel with its finger on the hot-button issues of today's Europe.  Immigration and multicultural conflicts erupt in the Italian city of Turin, as journalist Enzo Laganà looks to restore peace to his native burg.

Papers in the Wind

In this insightful novel by Eduardo Sacheri, a young girl left destitute by the death of her soccer-playing father is uplifted by the bold schemes of her uncle, his pals, and one newbie player to the professional leagues.