by Philip Lopate
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Best known for his jaunty, ruminative nonfiction books on such redoubtable topics as bachelorhood, melancholy, and the male body, Phillip Lopate last produced a full-length work of fiction in 1987—The Rug Merchant. Whence, then, this tart, mischievous set of novellas—Two Marriages—paired some twenty-one years later into one deceptively trim, provocatively entertaining volume? Such is the mystery out of which fiction, like married life, is made—and into which Lopate lustily delves.
In the first and longer work, The Stoic’s Marriage, a well-off forty-eight-year-old Spanish Catholic first-generation Brooklynite named Gordon narrates via diary entries the course of his ideal, then absurdist, then, as deceits and high jinks pile up, surreal marriage to a fetching thirty-six-year-old Filipina, Rita, who is newly arrived
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