Lynne Sharon Schwartz’s critically beloved novel about family, tragedy, and philosophy
The field is all around us. It’s our needs and our wants. This is what George tells Lydia. A disturbance, however, is something that keeps us from grasping and attaining the things we need. Usually, we can adapt to these disturbances and move forward. But, what happens if a disturbance becomes too great to move past? In this entrancing tale of loss and understanding, acclaimed author Lynne Sharon Schwartz plots the course of a woman’s life, through the cycles of love, loss, and acceptance. Lydia’s early life is marked by calm constants: a house in Cape Cod, a philosophy group in college. These remain her touchstones as she becomes a busy wife, mother, and music teacher. But when her family’s world is suddenly shattered, she struggles to regain her equilibrium. Will she be able to find her way in such a radically altered field?
“Disturbances in the Field seems a more-than-welcome return to a classic idea of the novel . . . A wonder to read . . . I can think of no other contemporary writer who writes so well, with such rich sensuality.” —Los Angeles Times Book Review “Wonderful . . . It goes beyond literature and philosophy to a tough, battered truth.” —The New York Times “A quiet masterwork of late 20th-century American realism.” —Kirkus Reviews “The book has the architecture of a sonata.” —San Jose Mercury News
Lynne Sharon Schwartz (b. 1939) is a celebrated author of novels, poems, short fiction, and criticism. Schwartz began her career with a series of short stories before publishing her first novel, the National Book Award–nominated Rough Strife (1980). She went on to publish works of memoir, poetry, and translation. Her other novels have included the award-nominated Leaving Brooklyn (1989) and Disturbances in the Field (1983). Her short fiction has appeared in theBest American Short Stories annual anthology series several times. In addition, her reviews and criticism have appeared in numerous magazines and newspapers. Schwartz lives in New York City, and is currently a faculty member of the Bennington Writing Seminars.