A study in motives, conflicts, ambitions, and fears as idealistic young newlyweds face unanticipated realities
Hortense Calisher’s second novel is a multigenerational story of art, family, and marriage. Opening with Liz and David’s wedding and chronicling the first four years of their life together, Calisher follows the couple through their evolution into erudite, antimaterialist artists. They move into a sparse downtown Manhattan loft, prideful of their rebellious choice to lead lives unfettered by possessions. As time passes, they realize that their unbridled optimism is slowly being abraded by the disappointments of reality. With the ambiguously pleasant news that Elizabeth’s mother and David’s father, both widowed, are finding new love together, Calisher further explores the couple’s interplay and draws piercing parallels between the idealism of youth and the sagacity of old age.
Textures of Life explores the nature of relationships and the shifts—both minute and seismic—that affect the power dynamics as Liz and David constantly redefine their roles and opinions in order to sustain their relationship.