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The uncannily relevant, deliciously clear-eyed collected stories of a critically acclaimed, award-winning author who is ripe for rediscovery--with a foreword by Elizabeth Strout. From her many well-loved novels, Hilma Wolitzer--now 90 years old and at the top of her game--has gained a reputation as one of our best fiction writers. These collected short stories--most of them The uncannily relevant, deliciously clear-eyed collected stories of a critically acclaimed, award-winning author who is ripe for rediscovery--with a foreword by Elizabeth Strout. From her many well-loved novels, Hilma Wolitzer--now 90 years old and at the top of her game--has gained a reputation as one of our best fiction writers. These collected short stories--most of them originally published in magazines including Esquire and The Saturday Evening Post in the 1960s and 1970s, along with a new story that brings her early characters into the present--are evocative of an era that still resonates deeply today. In the title story, a bystander tries to soothe a woman who seems to have cracked under the pressures of motherhood. And in several linked stories throughout, the relationship between the narrator and her husband unfolds in telling and often hilarious vignettes. Of their time and yet timeless, Wolitzer's stories zero in on the domestic sphere and ordinary life with wit, candor, grace, and an acutely observant eye. Brilliantly capturing the tensions and contradictions of daily life, Today a Woman Went Mad in the Supermarket is full of heart and insight, providing a lens into a world that was often unseen at the time, and often overlooked now--reintroducing a beloved writer to be embraced by a whole new generation of readers.


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The uncannily relevant, deliciously clear-eyed collected stories of a critically acclaimed, award-winning author who is ripe for rediscovery--with a foreword by Elizabeth Strout. From her many well-loved novels, Hilma Wolitzer--now 90 years old and at the top of her game--has gained a reputation as one of our best fiction writers. These collected short stories--most of them The uncannily relevant, deliciously clear-eyed collected stories of a critically acclaimed, award-winning author who is ripe for rediscovery--with a foreword by Elizabeth Strout. From her many well-loved novels, Hilma Wolitzer--now 90 years old and at the top of her game--has gained a reputation as one of our best fiction writers. These collected short stories--most of them originally published in magazines including Esquire and The Saturday Evening Post in the 1960s and 1970s, along with a new story that brings her early characters into the present--are evocative of an era that still resonates deeply today. In the title story, a bystander tries to soothe a woman who seems to have cracked under the pressures of motherhood. And in several linked stories throughout, the relationship between the narrator and her husband unfolds in telling and often hilarious vignettes. Of their time and yet timeless, Wolitzer's stories zero in on the domestic sphere and ordinary life with wit, candor, grace, and an acutely observant eye. Brilliantly capturing the tensions and contradictions of daily life, Today a Woman Went Mad in the Supermarket is full of heart and insight, providing a lens into a world that was often unseen at the time, and often overlooked now--reintroducing a beloved writer to be embraced by a whole new generation of readers.

30 review for Today a Woman Went Mad in the Supermarket: Stories

  1. 5 out of 5

    Angela M

    As I I was reading this, I was very much reminded of what I love about the work of Alice McDermott, Anne Tyler, or Elizabeth Strout who has written an eloquent foreward full of praise for Hilma Wolitzer. It’s the quiet ordinary lives we can relate to and empathize with even if the circumstances are not exactly like our own. It’s about coping with the imperfections of our daily lives and in each other, in marriages and families and it’s filled with heart and humor. I must have been living under a As I I was reading this, I was very much reminded of what I love about the work of Alice McDermott, Anne Tyler, or Elizabeth Strout who has written an eloquent foreward full of praise for Hilma Wolitzer. It’s the quiet ordinary lives we can relate to and empathize with even if the circumstances are not exactly like our own. It’s about coping with the imperfections of our daily lives and in each other, in marriages and families and it’s filled with heart and humor. I must have been living under a rock for never having read anything by Hilma Wolitzer until now. She’s 91 years old and while most of the stories in this collection were written several decades ago, they are so relatable even now. She’s obviously still writing as the final story reflects recent events. I’m glad to have discovered her writing now. In all honesty, I was drawn to this book because of the title, thinking in a light hearted way that any day now I could go mad in the supermarket. This title story, the first in the book, though, is hardly light hearted. It’s sad and so realistic about how overwhelming life can be for women at times caring for small children, tending to a house with a less than understanding husband and how it can break a woman. I wished I could help her. That’s how real it felt. Another that really touched me was “Waiting for Daddy”, a sad story of a young girl wanting a connection with a father she never knew. In spite of some sadness and tough times, the stories are infused with such humor. “Photographs”, “Mrs. X”, “Sundays”, “Nights”, “Overtime”, “The Sex Maniac”, “Trophies”, and “The Great Escape”, all center on a married couple, Paulette and Howard at various times in their lives, over the years raising their children, living in an apartment building in New York City. What terrific characters, facing things that we could easily relate to or certainly understand - depression, boredom, sleeplessness, infidelity, forgiveness, love, and yes, the simple joys in life. One of my favorites was the last story, “The Great Escape”. This one brings Paulette and Howard to present day. They have aged and the Covid virus is here. Funny thinking back to last year and my own “stocking up” when their daughter tells them : “ Stock up on toilet paper and hand sanitizer, “ “Fill up your freezer.” Funny when her first Zoom meeting was a book club meeting when everyone had to be prompted to turn off the mute button. My first zoom meeting was a telemedicine visit and my Doctor had to prompt me to unmute . But then Covid is not so funny, but so very realistically portrayed. Paulette in this story talks about her favorite book “Mrs. Bridge “ and it’s sequel, “Mr. Bridge” - “ …I saw both novels as candid observation, leavened by the charity of humor and the imagination.” I could say the same thing about the writing I found here. I’ll have to read Mrs. Bridge one day as well as more by Hilma Wolitzer. I received an advanced copy of this book from Macmillan through Edelweiss.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    How have I gotten through life without having heard of Hilma Wolitzer? The stories in Today a Woman Went Mad in the Supermarket are so delicious! I laughed even when I guiltily recognized the truthful honesty behind these stories which first appeared in The Saturday Evening Post, Esquire, and literary magazines in the 1960s and 1970s. When I found the title story online, shared by The Saturday Evening Post on their website and first published in the magazine in 1966, I knew I had to read more. A How have I gotten through life without having heard of Hilma Wolitzer? The stories in Today a Woman Went Mad in the Supermarket are so delicious! I laughed even when I guiltily recognized the truthful honesty behind these stories which first appeared in The Saturday Evening Post, Esquire, and literary magazines in the 1960s and 1970s. When I found the title story online, shared by The Saturday Evening Post on their website and first published in the magazine in 1966, I knew I had to read more. A woman has a nervous breakdown in the grocery store, her son clinging to her skirts, her purse empty, while the pregnant narrator tries to help her. “You can’t mother the whole world,” her husband consoles his sorrowing wife. Oh, how many times have we seen a crisis and felt powerless? But where better to lose it than food shopping? Woman carry so much, especially in 1966, the family needing to be feed and the house cleaned and the dog walked and so on and so on. It’s enough to crush any woman’s spirit. The relentless need and the never ending futility of it all. The story of Paulette and Howard is told through the stories: their shotgun wedding, the struggles of marriage, depression and anxiety, in-laws and kids, and finally, old age in the pandemic and the losses it inflicts. I found myself glancing over to see if Howard was still alive, holding my breath while I watched for the shallow rise and fall of his, the way I had once watched for a promising rise in the bedclothes. The last story, The Great Escape, opens with Paulie watching Howard sleeping, reminiscing of the days when she would wake him up for a quickie before the kids woke up. Now, she checks to see if he is still breathing. It is hilarious and heartbreaking all at once. She captures the routine of old age, their days reduced to the same endless routine, “as if it would all go one forever in that exquisitely boring and beautiful way.” The kids order them to stock up on toilet paper and hand sanitizer and to fill the freezer, the book club switched to Zoom meetings (as did the bar mitzvah), hair cuts are skipped, and masks and gloves became a part of their wardrobe. It is like the story of my 2020 life, down to the Zoomed bar mitzvah attendance! In the Foreword by Elizabeth Strout (Olive Kitteridge, My Name is Lucy Barton), she writes that Wolitzer “is largehearted in her work, judging no none.” And I loved that about these stories. Like Strout’s characters, Wolitzer writes about ordinary people, with great honesty and sympathy and insight. I loved these women and I loved these stories. Wolitzer’s brilliant writing is not to be missed. I received a free egalley from the publisher through NetGalley. My review is fair and unbiased.

  3. 5 out of 5

    Lolly K Dandeneau

    via my blog: https://bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com/ 𝘽𝙪𝙩 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧𝙚 𝙬𝙖𝙨 𝙣𝙤 𝙤𝙣𝙚 𝙩𝙤 𝙥𝙧𝙤𝙩𝙚𝙘𝙩 𝙢𝙚 𝙛𝙧𝙤𝙢 𝙢𝙮 𝙤𝙬𝙣 𝙗𝙖𝙙 𝙙𝙚𝙘𝙞𝙨𝙞𝙤𝙣𝙨, 𝙣𝙤 𝙤𝙣𝙚 𝙩𝙤 𝙡𝙚𝙖𝙙 𝙢𝙚 𝙛𝙧𝙤𝙢 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙗𝙖𝙘𝙠 𝙨𝙚𝙖𝙩𝙨 𝙤𝙛 𝙘𝙖𝙧𝙨. Old stories don’t really exist, not when it comes to human relationships, responsibilities, the load we carry simply by being alive. The space we inhabit whether we’ve abandoned someone or are a fixture in the landscape of their lives has a heartbeat, a life of its very own. Some things never change, some aches are timeless, universal. We via my blog: https://bookstalkerblog.wordpress.com/ 𝘽𝙪𝙩 𝙩𝙝𝙚𝙧𝙚 𝙬𝙖𝙨 𝙣𝙤 𝙤𝙣𝙚 𝙩𝙤 𝙥𝙧𝙤𝙩𝙚𝙘𝙩 𝙢𝙚 𝙛𝙧𝙤𝙢 𝙢𝙮 𝙤𝙬𝙣 𝙗𝙖𝙙 𝙙𝙚𝙘𝙞𝙨𝙞𝙤𝙣𝙨, 𝙣𝙤 𝙤𝙣𝙚 𝙩𝙤 𝙡𝙚𝙖𝙙 𝙢𝙚 𝙛𝙧𝙤𝙢 𝙩𝙝𝙚 𝙗𝙖𝙘𝙠 𝙨𝙚𝙖𝙩𝙨 𝙤𝙛 𝙘𝙖𝙧𝙨. Old stories don’t really exist, not when it comes to human relationships, responsibilities, the load we carry simply by being alive. The space we inhabit whether we’ve abandoned someone or are a fixture in the landscape of their lives has a heartbeat, a life of its very own. Some things never change, some aches are timeless, universal. We can go mad in a supermarket or feel empathy for someone who does, so many of us have been there, or will be. What makes Hilma Wolitzer a ‘masterful writer’ is her eye for all our little lives, pulsing into the universe with banal thoughts- we all have them. No one escapes the stress of not being good enough, of having to keep your head up and keep on moving despite the burdens of our responsibilities. We all have longings we cast out into the world, even a child who has grown up fatherless and envies all those other selfish girls who get to sit next to real fathers at the movies. Life is unfair, we all know it! Yet, there is strength and heart in the home with her mother and grandmother’s support, holding up her universe. There are variations of family, then as now. Like the witness to the supermarket madness, sometimes we just can’t do anything but fill our role as spectator. “Of course, I’m too sophisticated in things psychological (isn’t everyone today?) to think that one goes mad at a moment’s notice. There are insipid beginnings to a nervous breakdown.” It’s the collection of failures, pressures, disappointments, wounds, that make one lose heart or mind. Written in the past (60’s-70’s and currently as well), how often were women and their little ‘episodes’ minimized, leaving them to feel ridiculous? I’m fine, everything is swell, don’t mind the tears! If there are great mysteries to solve, in being a human, no one has done it yet. Each life is large to the person living it out. Here the theme is domestic life, plans that stretch into a million tomorrows, pregnancy, partnership, and like giving birth how we have to learn to ‘just breathe’ through it all. Where do our dreams go, some so small we can keep them in our pocket? How do we protect our marriage from threats, interlopers? How do we measure happiness, what does it look like when you have children and not a moment of solitude to ponder it? Isn’t it good to know we are all restless, how else would we find the energy to show up every single day? Too, we drag our childhoods behind us, people growing up and learning to ‘get used to the ironies of life’. Learning not just how to love, but to accept love and likely screwing things up. We all are tormented by the ‘minds mutterings’, hearts will be broken and mend, no one we love is a blank slate anymore than we ourselves are. Through insomnia, outside threats (even sex maniacs on the loose), ex-wives, an evil virus, death, grief, rotten childhoods and the bodies we occupy- these are stories most anyone can relate to. Maybe our lives aren’t all great fodder for Hollywood movies, but it’s ours with all its mess and glory. Nothing spectacular has to happen, the reward is in connecting. It truly is, in the end, all the little things that make up a life. How we betray our hearts and each other, what we do with our pain, how we can still be happy despite knowing the worst. Time allows for so much forgiveness, and maybe time itself is the nourishment so many marriages require. The final story is a last breath, and tender. Yes, read it- this an intelligent collection. Publication Date: August 31, 2021 Bloomsbury USA

  4. 4 out of 5

    Holly R W

    Hilma Wolitzer's collection of short stories spans her earlier years of writing and includes one story written recently. The author is 91 years old. The stories I liked best were about a couple, named Howard and Paulette, told from Paulette's (Paulie's) point of view. They looked at aspects of married life, both moments of contentment and life's bumpy times. Personally, a stand-out story for me was Photographs. In it, a young Paulie meets Howard and while dating, discovers herself to be pregnant Hilma Wolitzer's collection of short stories spans her earlier years of writing and includes one story written recently. The author is 91 years old. The stories I liked best were about a couple, named Howard and Paulette, told from Paulette's (Paulie's) point of view. They looked at aspects of married life, both moments of contentment and life's bumpy times. Personally, a stand-out story for me was Photographs. In it, a young Paulie meets Howard and while dating, discovers herself to be pregnant. It is written realistically and with a bit of humor. 3.5 stars Here is an NPR interview with the author. https://www.npr.org/2021/09/07/103492...

  5. 4 out of 5

    Sean Loughran

    Absolutely loved this! An escape for the afternoon, these short stories were wonderful, and whisked me away to many places over the course of a few hours, where my emotions ebbed and flowed, like the waves of the sea. Hilma’s prose is vividly descriptive and pulls the reader in immediately. By the first page, I was hooked. She doesn’t give much away, just enough for the reader to understand what’s happening, but leaving them desperately wanting more. Every time I finished one of the shorts, I wo Absolutely loved this! An escape for the afternoon, these short stories were wonderful, and whisked me away to many places over the course of a few hours, where my emotions ebbed and flowed, like the waves of the sea. Hilma’s prose is vividly descriptive and pulls the reader in immediately. By the first page, I was hooked. She doesn’t give much away, just enough for the reader to understand what’s happening, but leaving them desperately wanting more. Every time I finished one of the shorts, I would go to put the book down, then be tempted by the first sentence on the following page, becoming engrossed in yet another tale. Wolitzer describes the scenes so skilfully. She manages to capture the emotions of each character so accurately that they feel real. I felt at times these characters could be friends, family members, or neighbours. Truly timeless, this collection of shorts has proven to be. How something published so long ago can still be so entirely relevant today. A fantastic and gripping assortment of stories, Today A Woman Went Mad in the Supermarket, was absolutely splendid. www.avocadodiaries.com

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    I’ve found a new feminist hero. Why did I never read her work before even though I have devoured her daughter’s novels? This is a collection of thirteen short stories -9 of them follow a family from 1966-76 and 4 stories from 1971-87 are independent. Especially in the time these were published, the author was bold to describe the imprisonment of a housewife’s life. She was also brave to articulate real women’s anatomy without euphemisms. None of the stories described any fantastical event, but t I’ve found a new feminist hero. Why did I never read her work before even though I have devoured her daughter’s novels? This is a collection of thirteen short stories -9 of them follow a family from 1966-76 and 4 stories from 1971-87 are independent. Especially in the time these were published, the author was bold to describe the imprisonment of a housewife’s life. She was also brave to articulate real women’s anatomy without euphemisms. None of the stories described any fantastical event, but they each delved into banal actions and thoughts and made them interesting. The recurring characters culminated into the final story written in 2020 that made them contemporary and highlighted the fact that 50yo stories remain relevant today.

  7. 5 out of 5

    LeeAnna Weaver

    I don’t read many short story collections, but I enjoyed these. The loosely connected stories were published in the 60’s and 70’s and end with a piece written in 2020. They are fresh, relevant, and full of sharp humor. My favorite story is “The Great Escape.” So full of wisdom about human behavior - glad I finally found her work.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Nina

    This book is filled with gems of timeless insight and understated hilarity. The writing is clean and precise.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Kathleen

    I am writing early about Hilma Wolitzer’s charming new collection of short stories, Today a Woman Went Mad in the Supermarket., which will be published next month. Why? I am bursting with enthusiasm over “The Great Escape,” the last story in the collection, a poignant, witty masterpiece about Covid-19. The other stories appeared in magazines in the ’60s, ’70’s, and ’80s, and I love the wry voices of the women. In the early days of Second Wave feminism, her characters cope with domestic overload, I am writing early about Hilma Wolitzer’s charming new collection of short stories, Today a Woman Went Mad in the Supermarket., which will be published next month. Why? I am bursting with enthusiasm over “The Great Escape,” the last story in the collection, a poignant, witty masterpiece about Covid-19. The other stories appeared in magazines in the ’60s, ’70’s, and ’80s, and I love the wry voices of the women. In the early days of Second Wave feminism, her characters cope with domestic overload, accidental pregnancies, touring model homes in suburbs (and making fun of them), worrying about a “sex maniac” loose in the apartment complex, and witnessing a woman who has gone mad in the supermarket. The stories are light, simple and graceful, fast reads, and I thoroughly enjoyed them. But “The Great Escape” is on a higher level, truly a great work of literature. I am sure there are many Covid stories now, but this is the first I’ve read, and it is exquisite and breathtaking. The narrator, Paulie, and her sexy husband Howard, whom we have met in previous stories, have grown old: they are now in their nineties. They pop pills, squabble, and watch the news on TV, but are satisfied with their lives. Paulie, though annoyed by the loss of her curvy figure and grieving the devastation of Howard’s looks, is spirited and funny about old age. We’d both become relief maps of keratoses, skin tags, and suspicious-looking moles. “What’s this thing on my back, Paulie?” Howard would say, yanking up his shirt while I searched for my reading glasses. “It’s nothing,” I’d tell him. “I have a million of those.” Cheerleader and competitor at once. And here’s another: There were running death jokes in our family. My father, driving past a cemetery: “Everybody’s dying to get in.” My mother: “Death must be great—nobody ever comes back.” Howard’s mother: “When one of us dies, I’m going to Florida.” That would have been funny except that she actually meant it. Now, none of them was laughing or ever coming back. Then one day their anxious daughter calls to warn them about the novel coronavirus, which, as far as Paulie can tell, is only happening in a nursing home in Washington. Eventually, Paulie and Howard are housebound in New York, wearing their “disguises” (surgical masks and vinyl gloves) on the rare exoduses from their apartment. There is a hilarious segment when Paulie’s book club attempts to meet on Zoom. Nobody can find the mute button, or the unmute button, and they are suddenly disconnected – after Paulie has actually raised her hand to talk. And then someone catches Covid. Everything you have imagined or experienced, including separation from loved ones, is documented in great detail and with an admirable lack of sentimentality. And yet while the plague rages, dysfunctional they may be, history holds them together. By the way, Elizabeth Strout wrote the preface to this wonderful collection. Though England entertains us with Diary of a Provincial Lady, we have the witty Hilma Wolitzer.

  10. 4 out of 5

    David Curry

    Readers have to be grateful that 91-year old Hilma Wolitzer has not let the stories from her early writing career go uncollected and that we now have them gathered together in TODAY A WOMAN WENT MAD AT THE SUPERMARKET. In the bargain, she has added an engaging new story, “The Great Escape” with which the book concludes. In the compassionate title story, which knows the limits of compassion, when the supermarket manager phones the husband of the woman gone mad, the husband turns out to have been s Readers have to be grateful that 91-year old Hilma Wolitzer has not let the stories from her early writing career go uncollected and that we now have them gathered together in TODAY A WOMAN WENT MAD AT THE SUPERMARKET. In the bargain, she has added an engaging new story, “The Great Escape” with which the book concludes. In the compassionate title story, which knows the limits of compassion, when the supermarket manager phones the husband of the woman gone mad, the husband turns out to have been sleeping and unaware that his wife left the house. Women have gathered in the supermarket aisle out of curiosity, and Wolitzer gives us this: “ ‘Ahhh,’ the women moaned, like a Greek chorus.“ Smart, deft touches distinguish the stories from beginning to end. In “The Great Expression,” Wolitzer takes on the challenge of writing about the pandemic and gives us this: “Novel coronavirus, Covid-19 — like the devil, it had alternative names.” Nobody covers the erratic nature of eroticism or “fleeting lust” better than Wolitzer. After you’ve experienced this deeply moving, often richly comical book, the next time you’re on a bus you may find yourself wondering what’s going on with all these people and, in truth,what might be going on with you. Short story collections have a hard time finding publishers and readers. To boot, they have too seldom been honored by the major literary awards. I hope that Wolitzer’s wizardly, masterly book will at the very least garner multiple nominations.

  11. 5 out of 5

    B.S. Casey

    'Today a Woman Mad in the Supermarket' is an electric collection of short stories from Hilma Wolitzer, a name I was previously unfamiliar with but am now very happy to know. Hilma, now in her 90's is a prolific writer and astounding fiction author, most of her work being published in the sixties and seventies in every magazine you could think of. Most of these stories were previously published, so I was concerned they'd be dated but they have a classically timeless charm that was exceptionally e 'Today a Woman Mad in the Supermarket' is an electric collection of short stories from Hilma Wolitzer, a name I was previously unfamiliar with but am now very happy to know. Hilma, now in her 90's is a prolific writer and astounding fiction author, most of her work being published in the sixties and seventies in every magazine you could think of. Most of these stories were previously published, so I was concerned they'd be dated but they have a classically timeless charm that was exceptionally easy to love. This collection of stories show several snapshots of the life of a married couple, Paulette and Howard, and a few other characters along the way. We really get to know Paulette and her husband throughout different stages of their lives and it's amazing to see their lives change, especially in the most modern and updated addition to the saga. These stories are about real life, the boring, the mundane, and how utterly absurd it all is if you look at it objectively. From parenting, family and love, to depression, loss and lockdowns, this story collection looks at the world from a new lens and was a pleasure to read. "It would all go on forever in that exquisitely boring and beautiful way. But of course it wouldn't, everyone knows that. ”

  12. 5 out of 5

    Pam Poddany

    I absolutely loved each of the thirteen short stories in this book. They are all about just life in general -- life, death, love, hate, relationships, marriage, children. I laughed, I cried, I loved every word! Some of the short stories are about the same couple -- Howard and Paulette -- better known as Paulie. We travel through their lives through these stories...they are my favorite fictional couple! I loved them, I worried about them, I cared about them. Hilma Wolitzer writes with so much wit I absolutely loved each of the thirteen short stories in this book. They are all about just life in general -- life, death, love, hate, relationships, marriage, children. I laughed, I cried, I loved every word! Some of the short stories are about the same couple -- Howard and Paulette -- better known as Paulie. We travel through their lives through these stories...they are my favorite fictional couple! I loved them, I worried about them, I cared about them. Hilma Wolitzer writes with so much wit and humor and there were many laugh-out-loud moments for me. For instance.... "Isn't the sperm the true aggressor, those little Weissmullers breast stroking to their destiny." "Everybody said there was a sex maniac loose in the complex and I thought -- It's about time!" Wolitzer knows life and people and she should! She is 91 years young! She is the mother of author Meg Wolitzer who wrote THE INTERESTINGS, THE WIFE, and SLEEPWALKING just to name a few. I loved this book and hated to see it end. It is a short little treasure; it only took me about two hours to read. Check this one out. I highly recommend this book to YOU!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Peter

    'Today a Woman Went Mad in the Supermarket' is a terrific collection of short stories that hopefully will reintroduce Hilma Wolitzer to new readers. Most of these stories were written and published in the '60s and '70s before she shifted to novels. The remain beautiful drawn portraits of everyday people and lives rendered extraordinary by Wolitzer's prose. The one new story updates the lives of Paulette and Howard, a married couple who are featured in some of the older ones, to reflect their liv 'Today a Woman Went Mad in the Supermarket' is a terrific collection of short stories that hopefully will reintroduce Hilma Wolitzer to new readers. Most of these stories were written and published in the '60s and '70s before she shifted to novels. The remain beautiful drawn portraits of everyday people and lives rendered extraordinary by Wolitzer's prose. The one new story updates the lives of Paulette and Howard, a married couple who are featured in some of the older ones, to reflect their lives today, as well as Wolitzer's own loss of her husband of 68 years in 2020 when both she and he contracted COVID. I read this to interview Wolitzer and will post the story here when it runs. Check back, she's great!

  14. 4 out of 5

    Holly

    I'm embarrassed to say that I never heard of Hilma Wolitzer before and now I love her! I'm not even really fond of short stories but I picked this up due to the foreword by Elizabeth Strout and what a delight these stories are! Most of them were published in magazines in the 1960s and 70s and ring clear today. They are delicious to read; forthcoming, honest, acerbic and spiky all at once. Her keen view into people comes through in these stories. She captures the mundane and makes it wondrous wit I'm embarrassed to say that I never heard of Hilma Wolitzer before and now I love her! I'm not even really fond of short stories but I picked this up due to the foreword by Elizabeth Strout and what a delight these stories are! Most of them were published in magazines in the 1960s and 70s and ring clear today. They are delicious to read; forthcoming, honest, acerbic and spiky all at once. Her keen view into people comes through in these stories. She captures the mundane and makes it wondrous with her words. A delight to read.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Amna Waqar

    What a quirky collection of short stories! Written over decades, they spanned from the 1960's to the present day. Each story was unique and touched upon various subject matters such as mental health, pregnancy and marriage. There were some laugh out loud moments, as well as moments of despair and sadness. Wolitzer wove her charm, wit and magic into each story and left me wanting to read more. NetGalley provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. What a quirky collection of short stories! Written over decades, they spanned from the 1960's to the present day. Each story was unique and touched upon various subject matters such as mental health, pregnancy and marriage. There were some laugh out loud moments, as well as moments of despair and sadness. Wolitzer wove her charm, wit and magic into each story and left me wanting to read more. NetGalley provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Stephanie

    I liked all of the stories in this collection but I especially loved the stories that focused on Paulette and Howard. Even though the stories were written in the 60s and 70s they were still relatable. The final story, "The Great Escape," which was written decades later was great and connected great with the others about Howard and Paulette. It is sad though and discusses current events so be warned if you do not want to read about that. I liked all of the stories in this collection but I especially loved the stories that focused on Paulette and Howard. Even though the stories were written in the 60s and 70s they were still relatable. The final story, "The Great Escape," which was written decades later was great and connected great with the others about Howard and Paulette. It is sad though and discusses current events so be warned if you do not want to read about that.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Louise

    Came for the Strout foreword,and stayed for the humour,warmth and relatable characters dealing with normal every day things... haven't we all nearly had a breakdown in the supermarket? It's not all happy and uplifting,but it is all good. I'm not sure how I've never heard of Wolitzer,but I'm glad I have now. Came for the Strout foreword,and stayed for the humour,warmth and relatable characters dealing with normal every day things... haven't we all nearly had a breakdown in the supermarket? It's not all happy and uplifting,but it is all good. I'm not sure how I've never heard of Wolitzer,but I'm glad I have now.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Joanie

    These stories are charming, revealing, sad and funny all at the same time. I am someone who considers myself reasonably well-read, but I cannot believe I have never even heard of Hilma Wolitzer before. She is amazing, and she has written for decades about the experiences of women that many folks never acknowledged in the 60s & 70s and are dismissed today. Utterly brilliant, but not always happy.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Amber

    I knew this was a collection of stories going in, but not much else. After reading through several of the stories I realized this is not the collection for my taste. No negative thoughts really, just didn't match well. I knew this was a collection of stories going in, but not much else. After reading through several of the stories I realized this is not the collection for my taste. No negative thoughts really, just didn't match well.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Sasha

    The short text "The Last Story in a Long Marriage" wrecked me. As a Covid survivor who lived in daily fear that I'd infect my husband, it hit me on a personal level. Beautifully and tragically imagined. The short text "The Last Story in a Long Marriage" wrecked me. As a Covid survivor who lived in daily fear that I'd infect my husband, it hit me on a personal level. Beautifully and tragically imagined.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Peggy

    This book contains short stories. All but one of the stories were published in the 20th century in various magazines. The last story in the book is a new work. There is some sadness in a few of the stories, but most of them are hilarious. I finished this book all too soon.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Michael

    A first-rate story collection.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Nancy Dardarian

    This was a treat, an unexpected treat.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Carolyn

    At times, funny at other times, depressing But always thoughtful. Fictional commentary/stories on the interior life of a woman in the late 20th and early 21st century

  25. 4 out of 5

    Carol Rizzardi

    While some of these stories were written 50 years ago, the situations and emotions still ring true. That's the mark of a good writer. I enjoyed each one. While some of these stories were written 50 years ago, the situations and emotions still ring true. That's the mark of a good writer. I enjoyed each one.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Lorri Steinbacher

    I love Wolitzer's arch, funny tone. Enjoyable from beginning to end. I love Wolitzer's arch, funny tone. Enjoyable from beginning to end.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Jack Barrett

    70s timepiece. fun read

  28. 5 out of 5

    Kimberly Rousseau

    Pretty much a perfect set of short stories. I enjoyed every single moment.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Nadine

    This group of connected short stories was well written and interesting. I listened to the book instead of reading it snd, in this case, I think I would have enjoyed the book more if I had read it. It was not the kind of book that was easy to follow in an audio format, but I did enjoy the book and would recommend it.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Susan

    These lapidary stories have a beguiling main character, Pauli, who wakes up every morning smiling. Is it because she can always come up with a bright remark? I want Pauli as my imaginary friend! The scariest observation about the woman who went mad in the supermarket is that her hand bag is empty; second scariest is that her husband's work shoes are untied. I rest my case. These lapidary stories have a beguiling main character, Pauli, who wakes up every morning smiling. Is it because she can always come up with a bright remark? I want Pauli as my imaginary friend! The scariest observation about the woman who went mad in the supermarket is that her hand bag is empty; second scariest is that her husband's work shoes are untied. I rest my case.

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