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 23: " 'A job,' the woman repeated again, smiling, as if I hadn't heard her. 'Would you like one?' "

Kenneth Calhoun (Black Moon) and Lysley Tenorio (Monstress) of the Discover Great New Writers program on B-movies, heritage, and finales.

Books, CDs, DVDs to know about now
In the Light of What We Know

Zia Haider Rahman's mystery of a brilliant Bangladeshi mathematician's past barrels through the Ivy League, London high finance, and spy-haunted Afghanistan in a page-turning tale of exile, intrigue and the price of friendship. A Discover Great New Writers selection.

The People's Platform

Once touted as the foundation for tomorrow's digital democracy, the Internet is increasingly ruled by a few corporate giants, while millions of contributors till its fields for free. Astra Taylor looks at why the web has failed to deliver a communitarian cyberscape, and offers a compelling case for restoring its original vision.

A Private Venus

Dubbed "the Italian Simenon," Giorgio Scerbanenco (1911-1969) began his crime-writing career with books set in the USA, but quickly shifted scene closer to home, the city of Milan.  In this adventure, appearing in English for the first time, his underdog hero Dr. Duca Lamberti finds himself in the middle of a seedy, scantily clad criminal racket, where the presence of an outsider could result in death.