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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina on Mississippi's Gulf Coast, mostly retired architect Vaughn Williams, who is beset by the routine but no less troubling difficulties of late midlife, is doing what he can to remain, as he says, “viable.” He scans the channels, reads newspapers and blogs online, Googles practically everything, teaches an occasional class at the local junior college, and worries perhaps overmuch about his late father.

When his ex-wife, Gail, is assaulted by her hot-tempered new boyfriend, she asks him and his landlady/girlfriend, Greta, to move in with her. Perhaps a little too cavalierly, they agree, and complications distinctly Barthelme-esque follow, including manly confrontations with the perp, lamentations of his fathers life and death, casual moonlight drives, gambling for money, adults playing with trains, and the eventual untimely arrival of Vaughns annoyingly successful younger brother, followed closely by Vaughns ex-wifes invitation to remarry.

The tattered landscape of the post-hurricane Gulf Coast is the perfect analogue for these catastrophically out-of-order lives, and in this setting the players work into and out of almost all their troubles. In the process, and en route to a satisfying set of resolutions, Barthelmes acute eye and subtle wit uncover and autopsy an inner landscape of mortality, love, regret, and redemption. The result is his most emotionally resonant work of fiction yet—and a new reason to celebrate him as an American master.

Synopsis:

Set during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina on Mississippi's Gulf Coast, this latest work by the author of the "New York Times" Notable Book "Elroy Nights" uncovers a landscape of mortality, love, regret, and redemption.

Synopsis:

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina on Mississippi's Gulf Coast, mostly retired architect Vaughn Williams tirelessly scans the television channels; teaches a bit; thinks about his late father; waxes poetic, philosophical, and political; and deals with the personal difficulties of late midlife. When his ex-wife, Gail, is assaulted by her hot-tempered new boyfriend, she asks Vaughn and his landlady/girlfriend, Greta, to move in with her. Perhaps too cavalierly, they do, and complications of a distinctly Barthelme-esque nature follow, including memories of his father, gambling sojourns, adults playing with trains, the untimely arrival of Vaughn's annoyingly successful younger brother, and Gail's invitation to remarry.

The tattered landscape of the post-Katrina Gulf Coast is the perfect setting for these characters to work out their troubles in mind. Barthelme's acute eye and subtle wit uncover and autopsy an inner landscape of morality, love, regret, and redemption. The result is his most emotionally resonant work of fiction yet--and a new reason to celebrate him as an American master.

About the Author

FREDERICK BARTHELME is the author of twelve books of fiction, the most recent of which, Elroy Nights, was a finalist for the PEN/Faulkner Award and a New York Times Notable Book. He directs the writing program at the University of Southern Mississippi and edits the Mississippi Review.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780385527293
Author:
Barthelme, Frederick
Publisher:
Doubleday
Subject:
Divorced people
Subject:
Roommates.
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
Triangles (Interpersonal relations)
Subject:
General Fiction
Copyright:
Publication Date:
20090407
Binding:
Hardback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
240
Dimensions:
8.56x5.48x.91 in. .86 lbs.

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
History and Social Science » American Studies » Popular Culture

Waveland Used Hardcover
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Product details 240 pages Doubleday Books - English 9780385527293 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Set during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina on Mississippi's Gulf Coast, this latest work by the author of the "New York Times" Notable Book "Elroy Nights" uncovers a landscape of mortality, love, regret, and redemption.
"Synopsis" by , In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina on Mississippi's Gulf Coast, mostly retired architect Vaughn Williams tirelessly scans the television channels; teaches a bit; thinks about his late father; waxes poetic, philosophical, and political; and deals with the personal difficulties of late midlife. When his ex-wife, Gail, is assaulted by her hot-tempered new boyfriend, she asks Vaughn and his landlady/girlfriend, Greta, to move in with her. Perhaps too cavalierly, they do, and complications of a distinctly Barthelme-esque nature follow, including memories of his father, gambling sojourns, adults playing with trains, the untimely arrival of Vaughn's annoyingly successful younger brother, and Gail's invitation to remarry.

The tattered landscape of the post-Katrina Gulf Coast is the perfect setting for these characters to work out their troubles in mind. Barthelme's acute eye and subtle wit uncover and autopsy an inner landscape of morality, love, regret, and redemption. The result is his most emotionally resonant work of fiction yet--and a new reason to celebrate him as an American master.

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