An Available Man

  • by Hilma Wolitzer
  • Narrated by Fred Sullivan
  • 7 hrs and 51 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

When Edward Schuyler - a modest and bookish sixty-two-year-old science teacher - is widowed, he finds himself ambushed by female attention. There are plenty of unattached women around, but a healthy, handsome, available man is a rare and desirable creature. Edward receives phone calls from widows seeking love, or at least lunch, while well-meaning friends try to set him up at dinner parties. The problem is that Edward doesn’t feel available. He’s still mourning his beloved wife, Bee, and prefers solitude and the familiar routine of work, gardening, and bird-watching. But then his stepchildren surprise him by placing a personal ad in The New York Review of Books on his behalf. Soon the letters flood in, and Edward is torn between his loyalty to Bee’s memory and his growing longing for connection. Gradually, reluctantly, he begins dating (“dating after death,” as one correspondent puts it), and his encounters are variously startling, comical, and sad. Just when Edward thinks he has the game figured out, a chance meeting proves that love always arrives when it’s least expected.


What the Critics Say

“Wolitzer [writes] of the pain of losing a partner and its aftermath . . . with remarkable insight, grace, and humor. A warm, keenly incisive view of life’s vicissitudes by a writer too seldom heard from.” (Booklist)
“Families are Wolitzer’s turf, and she’s an observant and often humorous chronicler of domesticity and the stuff that comes with it: illness, loss, boredom, crankiness, and, on good days, love.” (Publishers Weekly)
“I absolutely loved An Available Man (and not, I swear, because I’m partial to widowers). For a start, Edward Schuyler is someone I desperately wish I could invite to my next dinner party (and not, I swear, because there are half a dozen women I’d like him to meet). This is a book to savor page by page, filled with astute detail, both comic and mournful, about what it’s like to be middle-aged and lonely yet not give up on the search for love.” (Julia Glass, author of The Widower’s Tale and the National Book Award-winning Three Junes)


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Lovely book, easy read, wonderful characters

It's February and this book fit right into my wanting it to be summer. It is a warm, thoughtful story about Edward who is just a great guy and all of his angst with losing his wife and finding a new life. The story just transported me to where it resided and I didn't want it to end.
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- Molly-o

Beautifully written

This is a lovely book. So beautifully written about a poignant time of the characters' lives that while I was listening, I was quoting lines and parts to friends. It was so great to listen to that I was sorry when the book came to an end. I have listened to other books by Hilma Wolitzer and didn't feel as strongly positive about them. This one is truly special. I also want to say that though it has sad parts, it isn't a sad book.
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- SomervilleWhereElse

Book Details

  • Release Date: 02-01-2012
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audio, Inc.