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The Lonely Polygamistby Brady Udall
The Lonely Polygamist spotlights the fragile humanity of the title character, Golden Richards, and his extended family. Through masterful prose filled with palpable heartache — not to mention all manner of hi-jinks — Udall shows that love really can conquer all.
Synopses & Reviews
Golden Richards, husband to four wives, father to twenty-eight children, is having the mother of all midlife crises. His construction business is failing, his family has grown into an overpopulated mini-dukedom beset with insurrection and rivalry, and he is done in with grief: due to the accidental death of a daughter and the stillbirth of a son, he has come to doubt the capacity of his own heart.
Brady Udall, one of our finest American fiction writers, tells a tragicomic story of a deeply faithful man who, crippled by grief and the demands of work and family, becomes entangled in an affair that threatens to destroy his family's future.
Like John Irving and Richard Yates, Udall creates characters that engage us to the fullest as they grapple with the nature of need, love, and belonging. Beautifully written, keenly observed, and ultimately redemptive, The Lonely Polygamist is an unforgettable story of an American family — with its inevitable dysfunctionality, heartbreak, and comedy — pushed to its outer limits.
"Udall masterfully portrays the hapless foibles and tragic yearnings of our fellow humans." San Francisco Chronicle
"The Lonely Polygamist is both an astounding feat and a sumptuous feast. This is the Second Coming of the Great American Novel. Or is it the Third? Who's counting? Read this brilliant book." Rabih Alameddine, author of The Hakawati
"This is big-hearted American storytelling, the best new book I've read in years." Bonnie Jo Campbell, author of American Salvage
"What is so great about this unflinching, superbly crafted, big-hearted novel is the way it makes us recognize the polygamist(and sister wife) in all of us. Golden Richards' struggles and desires are no different from ours, he just has them in multiples of four. His story not only demystifies and humanizes polygamist culture, it takes a dramatic stand on behalf of families everywhere — from the most conservative to the most alternative — and suggests a way to foreground, amidst all our failings, the rare moment of success." Pam Houston, author of Cowboys Are My Weakness
"The Lonely Polygamist is a hefty, eager, and bittersweet novel, and it is a page-turner. Brady Udall deals with familial chaos, reckless behavior, and alarming pyrotechnics with wit, grace, and tenderness. He's an enchanter who casts his spell with exquisite sentences and unerring, evocative details. Here is a writer of inordinate compassion and formidable intelligence. Read this remarkable novel, friend, live with it, and I promise you this, little Rusty Richards will haunt your dreams. John Dufresne, author of Love Warps the Mind a Little
"The Lonely Polygamist cracks open the door to plural marriage and lets in the light. Brady Udall explores the Richards family with the greatest care and humor, building memorable characters that readers will immediately love. Funny and wise, The Lonely Polygamist stands with other great family novels such as The Corrections and Middlesex, and sets Udall on the top shelf of America's writers." Hannah Tinti, author of The Good Thief and Animal Crackers
"Lovers of good writing will find this a pleasure, period." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)
"Funny and wise, The Lonely Polygamist stands with other great family novels such as The Corrections and Middlesex, and sets Udall on the top shelf of America's writers." Hannah Tinti, author of The Good Thief and Animal Crackers
"The Lonely Polygamist is a hefty, eager, and bittersweet novel, and it is a page-turner. Brady Udall deals with familial chaos, reckless behavior, and alarming pyrotechnics with wit, grace, and tenderness. He's an enchanter who casts his spell with exquisite sentences and unerring, evocative details. Here is a writer of inordinate compassion and formidable intelligence. Read this remarkable novel, friend, live with it, and I promise you this, little Rusty Richards will haunt your dreams." John Dufresne, author of Love Warps the Mind a Little
"Brady Udall's new book is funny, touching and powerful. Its images tickle and glow, disturb and soothe. Sprawling, ambitious, and assured, Mr. Udall's first novel since his 2001 debut, The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint, bursts with language and originality....Read this. It's a sure bet for Great American Novel of 2010." Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
"A strength of the work is Udall's careful focus....Udall's prose is affectionate....A fair warning to the reader: The novel's prose and characters are addicting. Don't pick this one up unless you have the time to spend. It's original and lots of fun." The Denver Post
"The book reads easily, with much humor and occasional stabbing sorrow....I don't know how true to life this story may be. But it feels right, it reads beautifully and often hilariously, and I liked it an awful lot." The Oregonian
About the Author
Brady Udall is the author of Letting Loose the Hounds, The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint, and The Lonely Polygamist. His work has appeared in The Paris Review, Esquire, Playboy, and elsewhere. He lives in Boise, Idaho.
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