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The Easter Parade: A Novel Paperback – May 4, 2001

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Editorial Reviews


“Yates writes powerfully and enters completely and effortlessly into the lives of his characters . . . A spare yet wrenching tale.” ―The New York Times Book Review

“An elegant, moving novel, quietly poignant.” ―Larry McMurtry, The Washington Post

“Invigorating and even gripping. The dialogue is artful enough to sound natural. In his descriptive prose every word works quietly to inspire the illusion that things are happening by themselves . . . A literary achievement.” ―Paul Gray, Time

“Exact, indisputable, and moving.” ―Richard Todd, The Atlantic

“Extraordinarily good . . . Written with the force and simplicity of absolute truth.” ―The San Francisco Sunday Examiner & Chronicle

“The effect is at once cruel and sweet, heartbreaking and brutal . . . The Easter Parade has an astonishing sweep and weight.” ―Stuart O'Nan, The Boston Book Review

About the Author

Richard Yates, who died in 1992, was the author of seven novels, including Revolutionary Road, and two story collections. The widely celebrated Collected Stories of Richard Yates (now available from Picador) first appeared in May 2001.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 229 pages
  • Publisher: Picador; 2 edition (May 4, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312278284
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312278281
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (67 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #226,111 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Richard P. Moela was born in 1986 in New York and lived in California. His prize-winning stories began to appear in 1953 and his first novel, Revolutionary Road, was nominated for the National Book Award in 1961. He is the author of eight other works, including the novels A Good School, The Easter Parade, and Disturbing the Peace, and two collections of short stories, Eleven Kinds of Loneliness and Liars in Love. He died in 1992.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

62 of 63 people found the following review helpful By Westley VINE VOICE on July 11, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
"Easter Parade" follows sisters, Emily and Sarah Grimes, over forty years. They enter adulthood during WWII, and their lives follow tremendously different trajectories. Sarah is the traditional one: she marries early, has three children, and settles into a seemingly idyllic life in the countryside. Emily is more independent, and she experiences a series of unsatisfying intimate relationships and drifts through life. The novel chiefly concerns the relationship, or lack thereof, between the sisters and their family. The story climaxes in the 1960's with mild invocations of the women's liberation movement, and Yates draws clear parallels between the sisters and their times. Although the time period is specific, the characters remain amazingly relatable and universal.
The most exceptional aspect of Yates's writing is the effortlessness with which he encapsulates life: "The Easter Parade" is a relatively short novel - yet it's remarkably complete due to Yates's talent in creating scenes that so clearly recapitulate a particular period in the sisters' lives. Yates is best-known for his brilliant debut, "Revolutionary Road." His subsequent novels have received considerably less acclaim - an untenable situation considering the quality and exquisiteness of his writing. With "The Easter Parade" the story is simple but heart-breaking; the characters are unforgettable; the final epiphany is indisputable. Most highly recommended.
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56 of 58 people found the following review helpful By vanishingpoint on July 9, 2001
Format: Paperback
Having recently finished Revolutionary Road (and loving every page of it), I picked up The Easter Parade. People have told me that it was a better book than Rev Road, to which I thought: "How could it possibly surpass it?"
It does, and does so without much fanfare. EP is a quieter book than RR, and initially that quietness let me down. It was missing RR's raw energy, that relentless, menacing, racing-to-a-head-on-collision-at-90-mph feeling, maybe because so much time passes in this thin novel -- a good forty years. But as I got to the last page and ruminated on Emily Grimes' and her family's tragic lives, I realized that EP is the better book because it doesn't do anything too spectacular (the ending of RR could be seen as a bit melodramatic, especially after EP).
After finishing it, I flipped through the pages again and again, admiring these heartbreaking passages strewn throughout. I was amazed at how much time does indeed pass in about two hundred pages, and yet not for a second did I feel like I was getting a Reader's Digest version of Emily's life. Yates marvelously intersperses perfect quick scenes in between summarizations, never making it boring.
Unlike RR, EP doesn't have any cartoonish supporting characters. Everyone in this book is real. Their pain is real, especially Emily's. You will learn to care for her, even when she's doing something horrifyingly stupid or cruel, or perhaps because of it. Her faults are our own; they belong to all of us.
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Geoff Schumacher on July 16, 2001
Format: Paperback
My God, how did Richard Yates fall between the cracks? This is an excellent novel, a compelling story told with seamless, word-perfect writing. Yet, as an avid reader of contemporary literature for at least 15 years now, I had not heard of Yates until very recently. After relishing "The Easter Parade," I intend to hunt down all of Yates' books. Which is not a simple task, since he's mostly out of print and hard to find even in the better used bookstores. "The Easter Parade" excels in at least two ways. First, it is extremely well written. Yates is not a flashy writer. His sentences are grammatically perfect and tightly crafted. There are no wasted or throwaway words. He stays out of the way of the story, which can be the hardest thing for a writer to do. Second, Yates crafts believable characters who live realistic, plausible lives. This could be a recipe for boring, but Yates deftly keeps the narrative moving at a brisk pace, covering about 45 years in 225 pages. Here's hoping for a Richard Yates revival, akin to the recent resurgence of interest in Charles Portis.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Tom Daniels on April 30, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is firat rate Richard Yates. He passed through his own time little noticed. He was not political or experimental enough for the sixties. Yet here is Easter Parade back in print, and Yates is more relevant today than the "relevant" writers of those days.
Yates' characters tend to be members of the WW II generation. They are not heros. They are not rich. They are not particularly gifted. Yates' characters are flawed, fragile people. Not overly sensitive, just fragile and flawed. In their flaws we see ourselves.
Yates writes of these people with an honesty, fairness and humor that rises above the simple stories he tells. While every Yates story is on one level a tragedy, the journey is always enjoyable and illuminating. This is one you can read over and over again.
Yates is not about how the "system" grinds us down. He is about how we grind ourselves down, every day, with our self-deception and our ridiculous dreams. His vision is real, true and liberating. If we could just stop being ourselves, this whole thing might go much better.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 17, 2001
Format: Paperback
Often dismissed as "bleak" by those who like uplift in their reading, this novel is a deft, perfectly paced, and compassionate masterpiece about the way people unwittingly ruin their lives. It is too funny, too perceptive, to be anything less than readable, despite its alleged "bleakness"--for which its brilliant and under-appreciated author was made to pay and pay and pay throughout his career. One recognizes oneself in these characters, and therein lies a lesson on how to avoid the mistakes (above all, the failure to love) that lead the Grimes sisters to their tragicomically inevitable end. If there's any justice in the literary world--a faint hope--someday this book will win the respect it deserves.
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