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All He Ever Wanted - Anita Shreve

All He Ever Wanted

Paperback Published: November 2008
ISBN: 9780349115580
Number Of Pages: 336

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It is a fire in a New Hampshire hotel that brings Nicholas Van Tassel and Etna Bliss together - two strangers grateful to have escaped the burning building with their lives. For Nicholas, it is also a chance meeting that lights up a lifelong passion, and sets in train a pursuit of Etna that is to end in their marriage. But their life is not everything they could have imagined. Many years later, Nicholas recounts their courtship and their time together. And as the threads of the story begin to unravel, what is revealed is a patchwork of promises, truths, secrets and lies, and a man, madly in love, for whom his wife is all he ever wanted . . .

Industry Reviews

*'A painful tale of obsession . . . impeccably done - SUNDAY TIMES

Shreve is prolific, polished, unputdownable. Above all, she delivers serious topics with a readable touch - GUARDIAN

Fluent and purposeful in its portrayal of the despair and claustrophobia seething beneath an ordered surface - SUNDAY TIMES

Etna is a woman operating under rigorous and agonising self-discipline. Volcanic passions exist beneath her submissive fa?ade - JOANNE HARRIS

ISBN: 9780349115580
ISBN-10: 0349115583
Audience: General
Format: Paperback
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 336
Published: November 2008
Publisher: Little, Brown Book Group
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 19.7 x 12.8  x 2.3
Weight (kg): 0.24
Edition Number: 1

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Anita Shreve

About the Author


Anita Shreve grew up in Dedham, Massachusetts (just outside Boston), the eldest of three daughters. Early literary influences include having read Ethan Frome by Edith Wharton when she was a junior in high school (a short novel she still claims as one of her favorites) and everything Eugene O'Neill ever wrote while she was a senior (to which she attributes a somewhat dark streak in her own work). After graduating from Tufts University, she taught high school for a number of years in and around Boston. In the middle of her last year, she quit (something that, as a parent, she finds appalling now) to start writing. "I had this panicky sensation that it was now or never."

Joking that she could wallpaper her bathroom with rejections from magazines for her short stories ("I really could have," she says), she published her early work in literary journals. One of these stories, "Past the Island, Drifting," won an O. Henry prize. Despite this accolade, she quickly learned that one couldn't make a living writing short fiction. Switching to journalism, Shreve traveled to Nairobi, Kenya, where she lived for three years, working as a journalist for an African magazine. One of her novels, The Last Time They Met, contains bits and pieces from her time in Africa.

Returning to the United States, Shreve was a writer and editor for a number of magazines in New York. Later, when she began her family, she turned to freelancing, publishing in the New York Times Magazine, New York magazine and dozens of others. In 1989, she published her first novel, Eden Close. Since then she has written 12 other novels, among them The Weight of Water, The Pilot's Wife, The Last Time They Met, A Wedding in December, and Body Surfing.

In 1998, Shreve received the PEN/L. L. Winship Award and the New England Book Award for fiction. In 1999, she received a phone call from Oprah Winfrey, and The Pilot's Wife became the 25th selection of Oprah's Book Club and an international bestseller. In April 2002, CBS aired the film version of The Pilot's Wife, starring Christine Lahti, and in fall 2002, The Weight of Water, starring Elizabeth Hurley and Sean Penn, was released in movie theaters.

Still in love with the novel form, Shreve writes only in that genre. "The best analogy I can give to describe writing for me is daydreaming," she says. "A certain amount of craft is brought to bear, but the experience feels very dreamlike."

Shreve was married to a man she met when she was 13. She had two children and three stepchildren. She passed away in March 2018

Visit Anita Shreve's Booktopia Author Page