Today a Woman Went Mad in the Supermarket: Stories (Paperback)
  • Today a Woman Went Mad in the Supermarket: Stories (Paperback)

Today a Woman Went Mad in the Supermarket: Stories (Paperback)

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Paperback 208 Pages
Published: 18/08/2022
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Waterstones Says

Bringing together tales from the 1960s and 70s with brand new work from the redoubtable nonagenarian writer, these warm, witty and compassion stories of womanhood are a consistent delight.

With a foreword by Elizabeth Strout

Another day! And then another and another and another. It seemed as if it would all go on forever in that exquisitely boring and beautiful way. But of course it wouldn't; everyone knows that.

In this collection, Hilma Wolitzer invites us inside the private world of domestic bliss, seen mostly through the lens of Paulie and Howard's gloriously ordinary marriage. From hasty weddings to meddlesome neighbours, ex-wives who just won't leave, to sleepless nights spent worrying about unanswered chainmail, Wolitzer captures the tensions, contradictions and unexpected detours of daily life with wit, candour and an acutely observant eye.

Including stories first published in magazines in the 1960s and 1970s - alongside new writing from Wolitzer, now in her nineties - Today a Woman Went Mad in the Supermarket reintroduces a beloved writer to be embraced by a new generation of readers.

Publisher: Bloomsbury Publishing PLC
ISBN: 9781526656490
Number of pages: 208
Dimensions: 198 x 129 mm


Short stories that pack a pithy poignant punch by a 91-year-old mistress of the craft … From the first page, dialogue and descriptions crackle through the quotidian and Hilma’s piquant prose illuminates scenes both prosaic and profound - Harper's Bazaar

Wolitzer’s vision of the world, for all its sorrow, is often hilarious and always compassionate. - New York Times Book Review

[Wolitzer’s writing] shines a light on the extraordinary and magical in seemingly ordinary, every day lives … Wolitzer is sure to find many new fans with this collection - Red

Wolitzer is a genius of the short story … Wolitzer is above all an observer, and she has a wonderful eye: compassionate, slightly jaundiced, erotic, urbane and often very funny - Sunday Times

Wolitzer is a champ at the closely observed, droll novel of manners. - NPR

The stories, full of references to Formica counters and Jell-O moulds, are riven with the stresses of parenting and marriage, and are incredibly funny … Her stories are disarmingly playful, but they also explore such subjects as maternal ambivalence and female desire in a way that feels radical even today - Daily Telegraph

Oh, how I loved these stories! I've been a fan of Hilma Wolitzer since my teens and this collection offers everything I adore about her novels: each story dazzles with an unflinching portrayal of a woman at a pivotal moment in her life - Joanna Rakoff, author of MY SALINGER YEAR

Wit, wisdom and warmth form the foundation of this sparkling collection. Wolitzer is a natural-born storyteller whose rigour, attention and generosity create miracles on each and every page - Tayari Jones

Hilma Wolitzer’s skill is to capture what on the surface seems like ordinary lives, but uncovering the extraordinary that lies underneath - Living Magazine

Like its author, the stories in Today A Woman Went Mad shine as brightly, cut as deeply and entertain as deliciously as if they’d been written today - Los Angeles Times

Today a Woman Went Mad in the Supermarket is electric: with wit, with rage, with grief, with the kind of prose that makes you both laugh and thrill to the darker, spikier emotions just barely visible under the bright surface. What a wonderful collection of stories - Lauren Groff

Wolitzer is especially strong on wise – and wisecracking – women, even in the harrowing tale of a meltdown in a supermarket ... You’ll laugh till you weep - Saga

Written over more than half a century, these thirteen stories circle themes such as love, insomnia and motherhood … [The collection is] beady-eyed and often humorous, its pages packed with details that reveal as much as entire novels - Mail on Sunday

[Wolitzer] shows us the ever-shifting alliances of family life and ways in which love can both change and endure. - New York Times

There are equal amounts of drollery and despair in these wonderful stories … Wolitzer’s take is fresh and funny and finely tuned to the carefree moments that lighten the emotional load … It’s so beautifully done, sly and spry, the perfect mixture of funny and sad - Daily Mail

Wolitzer is less well known than Tyler and Strout, though her writing is every bit as sharp, funny and insightful as her contemporaries ... Whether it’s the titular woman in the supermarket, or a wife who brings her husband to open house viewings to manage his depression, Wolitzer is observant and truthful on the tensions that exist in daily life - Irish Times

Wolitzer doesn’t just brilliantly capture what we imagine is recognisable ordinary life, she reveals the unique magic that is so absolutely transcendent, it makes us see and live in the world differently ... A fabulous collection brimming with the compassion that Wolitzer is known for - Caroline Leavitt

[A] sage collection of stories ... Throughout, Wolitzer captures the feel of each moment with characters who charm with their honesty. The result is a set of engaging time capsules. - Publishers Weekly

A fascinating time capsule of womanhood, marriage and motherhood over the last century … a fabulous book - Emma Straub

Immensely gratifying, poignant, funny … Breathtaking - Elizabeth Strout (from the foreword)

Hilma Wolitzer sees the miraculous, and the tragic, in modest lives and domestic particulars – wonders that might pass as ordinary events to the untrained eye. She magnifies the world. She insists, in one gorgeous sentence after another, that there’s no such thing as a usual hour, let alone a usual day - Michael Cunningham

With her trademark dry wit and abiding compassion, Wolitzer explores the telling details of everyday life in ways that are unsettling, insightful and wholly original. These stories will linger in your mind and get under your skin. They shimmer with life - Christina Baker Kline

To read Hilma Wolitzer is to laugh in a special way and to allow yourself little intermissions of sheer satisfaction in which you lay the open book facedown on your heart and snuggle with the human race. - Gail Godwin

A timeless examination of the bonds that connect us and the staying power of love - TIME

Wry, terse, full of telling detail. Think The Stepford Wives meets Samantha Bee - The Tablet

Witty and wonderful, these insightful stories are about the imperfections of everyday life … [Her characters] find the sunny, funny moments that transform the ordinary into the extraordinary - Psychologies

The stories are vivid and fresh despite most of them being published decades ago—there are quirks in language, like use of the word ‘pocketbook’ to denote a handbag, that ground this collection firmly in the yesteryears—but Wolitzer’s portrayals of the vagaries of motherhood, love, depression, boredom, grief, ageing and death are as sharp today as when they were first published. - Melbourne Writers Festival

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“An absolute delight.”

Hilma Wolitzer once told an interviewer “I don’t believe there is such a thing as an ordinary life. I think all life is extraordinary.” This beautifully sums up this collection of stories from the 1960s and 1970s. She... More

Hardback edition
1 similar book recommended
Helpful? Upvote 10


This was a Christmas Gift in 2021, I had never heard of this author before so I had no idea what to except... but a foreword by Elizabeth Strout and reviews on the back by Tayari Jones and Lauren Groff secured this to... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 2

“Sparkling stories of New York life”

Thanks to Netgalley and Bloomsbury Publishing for ARC of this delightful collection of short stories, accompanied by a charming introduction by Elizabeth Strout.

This is a sparkling, brittle collection of linked... More

Hardback edition
Helpful? Upvote 1

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