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Objects in Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear: A Novel Paperback – July 5, 2011


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Broadway Books (July 5, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307587940
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307587947
  • Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 5.1 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,635,568 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Weber's first novel shifts between past and present as a young photographer tries to rescue her best friend from a destructive affair.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Harriet is a photographer who has won a travel grant to Geneva. There, she stays with her former Eighth Street roommate, Anne, who is working for an international business whose function is unclear. Harriet writes to her lover, Benedict, about her concern for her friend: Anne has changed. She is having an affair with a married man who survived Auschwitz with her father and seems confused and sad. Harriet's picture-taking allows her to see through the lens what is not visible to the eye as she looks at her life and that of her friend. She reminds us that what is seen in mirrors may offer a distorted view of reality. This well-written first novel combines both tragedy and a happily-ever-after conclusion. Recommended.?Joanna M. Burkhardt, Univ. of Rhode Island Coll. of Continuing Education Lib., Providence
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

More About the Author

Katharine Weber's five highly-praised and award-winning novels have made her a book club favorite. Her sixth book, a memoir called The Memory of All That: George Gershwin, Kay Swift, and My Family's Legacy of Infidelities, was published by Crown in July 2011 and won raves from the critics, from Ben Brantley in the New York Times ("Ms. Weber is able to arrange words musically, so that they capture the elusive, unfinished melodies that haunt our memoires of childhood") to the Dallas Morning News ("gracefully written, poignant and droll"), the NY Daily News ("Old Scandals, what fun...the core of her tale is that of elegant sin and betrayal"), and the Boston Globe (a masterful memoir of the private world of a very public family"), among others. The Broadway paperback of The Memory of All That was published in 2012.

Her most recent novel, True Confections, the story of a chocolate candy factory in crisis, was published in January 2010 by Shaye Areheart Books and was published in December 2010 in paperback by Broadway Books. Critics raved: "A great American tale" (New York Times Book Review), "Marvelous, a vividly imagined story about love, obsession and betrayal" (Boston Globe), "Katharine Weber is one of the wittiest, most stimulating novelists at work today...wonderful fun and endlessly provocative" (Chicago Tribune),"Succulently inventive" (Washington Post),"Her most delectable novel yet" (L.A. Times).

Katharine's fiction debut in print, the short story "Friend of the Family," appeared in The New Yorker in January, 1993. Her first novel, Objects in Mirror Are Closer Than They Appear (of which that story was a chapter), was published by Crown Publishers, Inc. in 1995 and was published in paperback by Picador in 1996. It will be published in a new paperback edition by Broadway Books in Summer, 2011.

She was named by Granta to the controversial list of 50 Best Young American Novelists in 1996.

Her second novel, The Music Lesson, was published by Crown Publishers, Inc. in 1999, and was published in paperback by Picador in 2000. The Music Lesson has been published in twelve foreign languages, and is being reissued in the U.S. by Broadway Books in January, 2011.

The Little Women was published by Farrar, Straus & Giroux in 2003 and by Picador in 2004. All three novels were named Notable Books by The New York Times Book Review.

Her fourth novel, Triangle, which takes up the notorious Triangle Waist company factory fire of 1911, was published in 2006 by Farrar, Straus and Giroux and in 2007 by Picador.

Katharine's maternal grandmother was the songwriter Kay Swift. Since Swift's death in 1993, Katharine has been a Trustee and the Administrator of the Kay Swift Memorial Trust, which is dedicated to preserving and promoting the music of Kay Swift. This work includes the first Broadway musical with a score by a woman, "Fine and Dandy," and several popular show tunes of the era, among them "Fine and Dandy" and "Can't We Be Friends?" (www.kayswift.com)

Katharine is on the staff at Star, a foundation dedicated to offering personal growth retreats in the Arizona desert. (www.starfound.org)


Katharine is the Richard L. Thomas Visiting Professor of Creative Writing at Kenyon College, a five-year appointment to teach every spring term beginning in 2013. In the past she has taught fiction writing at Connecticut College, Yale University (for eight years), and the Paris Writers Workshop. She was the Kratz Writer in Residence at Goucher College in Spring 2006, and was an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the graduate writing program in the School of the Arts at Columbia University for six years.

Katharine is married to the cultural historian Nicholas Fox Weber (author most recently of The Bauhaus Group), and they have two daughters.

Customer Reviews

It is a beautiful and ingenious book.
Leora Skolkin-Smith
I wanted to like Victor; he's the one person in this book who indulges in age-appropriate interests, but sadly he is too one-dimensional to be of any lasting appeal.
F. Collings
Victor was okay but very icky and it is not used to full affect.
Beach Reader

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

40 of 47 people found the following review helpful By readernyc on December 13, 2000
Format: Paperback
I had an intuition about reading this book and I was right. It's rich, dense, withstructural decisions with which one might not agree, BUT it is wonderfully memorable, complex, a rare great read. In addition, as said in my long title, above, reading this as a writer: it's a goldmine. Because Ms. Weber carries this book with a consciousness that mixes the mundane life we all live with a literary savvy we can also enjoy (what some of us live too). To put this simply: the plot can take anyone along but the real treat is to see how an "intellectual" can create an accessible world that has so many philosophical and photographic insights also dispersed throughout. I read the middle flashback section after the first and last because I needed to keep with chronology. But, however you choose to read this, do so. Recommended for those who love a good read and recommended especially for writers. Many many tricks of the trade are embedded if one reads this with a writer's eye. Thanks, Ms. Weber, for a book that seriously challanged this non-fiction writer to reach for more range in my own work. A marvel.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 30, 1998
Format: Paperback
Ms. Weber's book has the convention of a young woman trying to come to terms with a new love, long-buried family secrets, and witnessing a dear friend's involvement in an unhealthy relationship. But she gives the conventions a twist that are very surprising, and the result is wholly satisfying. Nice work, and I look forward to reading more from Ms. Weber.
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 9, 1999
Format: Paperback
Why isn't this book better known? What a wonderful first novel. I can't believe it didn't win prizes. It's a Harriet the Spy for grownups. And the wordplay is brilliant. Hats off! Now when is her third novel coming out?
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16 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 13, 1999
Format: Paperback
By the author of "The Music Lesson," this almost too cleverly constructed rumination on parallax (look it up!) seems to say two things: (1) we can never really know anyone else; (2) some people simply cannot be saved. The most haunting image is that of the Holocaust-survivor psychoanalyst smiling with infinite kindness at her seemingly blessed young patient, who has already decided to die. Common threads in this and The Music Lesson include death of a child; wisdom and generosity of spirit of the elderly who have suffered; Americans in European settings they don't fully understand; profound attachments between grown daughter and father; intelligent, affluent women caught up in passionate affairs that prove degrading or just plain dangerous. What I didn't like about this one were the extended digressions into Harriet's childhood; though poignant, they seemed largely irrelevant.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Gypsi Phillips Bates VINE VOICE on July 9, 2004
Format: Hardcover
Harriet Rose is in Geneva, combining a travel fellowship with visiting her best friend Anne, who had rather recently moved to Geneva to be with her married, much older lover, Victor. What Harriet finds is an Anne unrecognizable from her best friend and former roommate. . . an Anne so dominated by Victor and his subtle (and some not so subtle) controls that she ceases to have an identity of her own and exists merely as Victor's mistress.
Harriet desperately wants to rescue Anne from what she perceives as a harmful relationship. Anne is uncertain as to her to own desires and motives. Victor, the forceful former-Auschwitz survivor, has his own agenda. This odd triangle reaches the point-of-no-return as the reader waits to see just what will happen.
The novel is written in three parts. Book One is a journal of sorts, in which Harriet records her concerns for Anne, along with her observations of Anne and Victor. She writes this journal in letters addressed to her boyfriend, Benedict, and uses it as a sounding board for her concerns and frustrations. This is by far the best part of the book. Harriet's observations are witty and scintillating, and at the same time piercing, as she tries to penetrate through Anne's "strange new mistress/person".
Books Two and Three are told in third person. Book Two fleshes out Harriet's personality by giving her family background and childhood stories, cumulating in a situation not dissimilar from the one she faces now. Book Three picks up where Harriet's journal leaves off and follows Anne and Victor and Harriet to the conclusion.
I was disappointed by Anne's character. Even knowing that her true personality was being overshadowed by Victor, I never caught so much as a glimpse of "her".
Read more ›
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 2, 1998
Format: Paperback
This is a compelling story of two friends whose lives intertwined, widely diverged, and then were brought back together. Harriet is sincere and appealing, while Anne is something of a cipher. Too much seems to have changed for their friendship to be what it was. And each carries excess baggage from traumatic events in their families. The new men in their lives are catalysts, and the effects are devastating for one friend.
I was captured immediately by the wonderful voice the author gave the narrator. My interest never flagged.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By leslie smith on October 29, 2001
Format: Paperback
I liked her second novel more because of the Vermeer mentions but this is an intriguing book about perception and seeing also. I look for her next book with interest. A fine writer, glad to have discovered her.
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