Leaving Home
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  • Paperback Edition
  • ISBN: 978-0-935312-73-7
  • Publication Date: 12-01-1987
  • Page Count: 336
  • Categories: Fiction
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ELIZABETH JANEWAY, novelist and social critic, is the author of four other novels and several volumes of critical prose.

more about this author

Leaving Home

Elizabeth Janeway

Preface by Elizabeth Janeway. Afterword by Rachel M. Brownstein.

Rich in emotional detail, Leaving Home tells the absorbing story of three siblings who must make the transition to independent adult life during the Depression: Nina, just out of Vassar and working in publishing; Kermit, a Columbia student, sarcastic and manipulative; and Marion, pretty, vulnerable, and involved in an impossible affair. The New York Times Book Review calls the novel “a delight to read, and even re-read, for its subtle, ironic implications."

"A novel of new detachment and keen objectivity that is a delight to read, and re-read, for its subtle, ironic implications."

The New York Times Book Review,

“Though it was written in the 50s, Leaving Home is indeed a novel about the 30s. . . . Thinking back on those years, I am able to hope that even the changes that have shaken the world since the days when Nina and Kermit and Marion left home won’t prevent this story of their emigration from speaking to those who came of age in other times and other places."

—Elizabeth Janeway, from the Preface

“[Leaving Home] tells how the Bishop family naturally dissolves as the children make the definitive choices that initiate their separate adult lives. . . . The stories are briskly and wittily told. Yet the novel is suffused with a tender, rueful melancholy, a wondering resignation at the inevitability of ties breaking and strong feeling fading. . . . Leaving Home is a serious as well as a lively and absorbing work of fiction. The values it articulates are domestic love and loyal personal attachment on the one hand, and informed, spirited independence of thought on the other: the problem it explores is how to have both at once. It is a theme that has been important in the work of distinguished generations of women writers, and it is still on our minds.”

—Rachel M. Brownstein, from the Afterword