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1 Beaverton Literature- A to Z

Wish You Were Here

by

Wish You Were Here Cover

 

Awards

A New York Times Notable Book for 2002
New York Times Book Review Notable Fiction 2002
A Chicago Tribune Favorite Book of 2002
Book Sense 76 Selection

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Award-winning writer O'Nan has been acclaimed by critics as one of the most accomplished novelists writing today. Now comes "his most complete work to date, filled with the type of life lessons that the best fiction has to offer and from an author firmly in control of his art" (Rob Stout, "Orlando Sentinel").

Review:

"O'Nan relies on a patient accumulation of detail instead of a focused dramatic arc to achieve a Vermeer-like realism in his latest novel....At times the story is smothered by its own accumulative logic; yet in clinging so relentlessly to the surface of his world, O'Nan slowly pulls the reader into it." Publishers Weekly

Review:

"Taking us inside everyone, from sixtyish women to 10-year-old boys, O'Nan gets all the details right....Although it's a long week and this is a long book, readers will find themselves fully engaged by each character's particular dilemmas and dreams." Mary Ellen Quinn, Booklist

Review:

"As always, O'Nan limns his characters with authority and empathy....On the debit side, it's hard to take much interest in characters who all see themselves as dreadfully ordinary when their author neither counters that judgment nor makes any claims for the importance of ordinariness. Fine prose and lovely strokes of portraiture throughout, but overall a bit of a disappointment from so ambitious and gifted a writer." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"[O'Nan's] finest and deepest novel to date....The action rises and ebbs with the rhythms of daily life — meals, swimming, after-dinner videos, the children's bedtime....The general absence of melodrama allows O'Nan to focus on the characters, and he draws them with sympathy and subtlety, especially the women." Ruth Franklin, The New York Times Book Review

Review:

"Wish You Were Here offers a stark and brilliantly mesmerizing glimpse into the lives of the Maxwells, the most aggressively average American family this side of The Corrections....The joy of the novel — and O'Nan's triumph — is the subtle manner in which the alternating voices draw in the reader. You read on less to find out what happens to the Maxwells than to become better acquainted with the characters, whom O'Nan makes fascinating and familiar." Joanna Smith Rakoff, The Los Angeles Times

Review:

"O'Nan reveals how close a good and caring family can sit by disaster with disaster nevertheless held in abeyance." Peter Temes, The Baltimore Sun

Review:

"Marvelous....Readers will not have to wish they were here. From his slow start to his gentle resolution, O'Nan will transport them, and the familiarity of this fictional tribe will harass and lull them in turn, just like family in real life." Susan Hall-Balduf, The Detroit Free Press

Review:

"Riveting....O'Nan has written the perfect summer-by-the-lake read....This is the landscape of family Jonathan Franzen illuminates in The Corrections, or Jane Smiley in Ordinary Love." Brian Bouldrey, The Chicago Tribune

Review:

"Filled with the type of life lessons that the best fiction has to offer....[O'Nan] conveys this through a sprawling, generously written saga that imparts exceptional insights into the human heart." Rob Stout, The Charlotte Observer

Review:

"[An] affectionate, resonant book....Wish You Were Here reminds the reader of the petty jealousies and deep wounds, the faults and the forgiveness, the prejudices and the trust that make families so alike — and in their precise details, so different." Tara Burghart, The Worcester Telegram & Gazette

Review:

"An elegy for a lost father, a lost past, and for lost dreams....With deft sympathy, O'Nan chronicles the reactions of nine family members...the nature of families, the nature of life, and [his] exquisitely ordinary portrait is tantamount to a sparkling epiphany." Mary A. McCay, The New Orleans Times-Picayune

Review:

"The tableau of daily life is expertly painted, and O'Nan takes time with his story, drawing the reader into a world created with unwavering confidence....For this author of seemingly limitless scope, perhaps this novel will prove to be O'Nan's 'breakout book.'" Irina Reyn, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Review:

"It's hard not to admire O'Nan's earnestness and his compassion for his characters." Andrew Roe, The San Francisco Chronicle

Review:

"Affectionate....Tells a lifetime of stories....O'Nan is as comfortable and enlightening inside the mind of a never-married schoolteacher as he is inside that of a shy, video game-obsessed 8-year-old." The Morristown Citizen Tribune

Review:

"Stewart O'Nan loves us and forgives us and watches us when we aren?t looking. And he has given us this big, fine, openhearted book in which the inner and outer lives of a family come together, with depth and art." Amy Bloom, author of A Blind Man Can See How Much I Love You

Review:

"Stewart O'Nan's Wish You Were Here is an unflinching portrait of an American family that?s remarkable for its precision, intelligence, and heart. You will not soon forget these people." Richard Russo, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Empire Falls

Review:

"How much Stewart O'Nan knows about his characters, young and old, male and female, and how masterfully he translates that knowledge into language! Wish You Were Here is a novel of unusual grace, power, and beauty — and a complete pleasure." Margot Livesey, author of Eva Moves the Furniture

Review:

"With Wish You Were Here, Stewart O'Nan reveals his consummate understanding of family, its minor jealousies, the importance of secrets, slips from grace and the forgiveness of those slips, and faith in spite of all else gone before. The tensions that simmer among the Maxwell family over this final summer by the lake are profoundly human, and Wish You Were Here offers the sort of illustration of our bonds that makes you want to pick up the phone and call home, to make amends, to make certain your love is known." Ashley Warlick, author of The Distance from the Heart of Things

Review:

"With each novel, Stewart O'Nan breaks new ground. And in this fond, generous book he gives us the life of each memorable character as well as the lives the Maxwells live together. Here is a houseful — a family full — of story that is richly, affectionately told." Frederick Busch, author of The Night Inspector

Synopsis:

Award-winning writer Stewart O'Nan has been acclaimed by critics as one of the most accomplished novelists writing today. Now comes his finest and most complete novel to date. A year after the death of her husband, Henry, Emily Maxwell gathers her family by Lake Chautauqua in western New York for what will be a last vacation at their summer cottage. Joining is her sister-in-law, who silently mourns the sale of the lake house, and a long-lost love. Emily's firebrand daughter, a recovering alcoholic recently separated from her husband, brings her children from Detroit. Emily's son, who has quit his job and mortgaged his future to pursue his art, comes accompanied by his children and his wife, who is secretly heartened to be visiting the house for the last time. Memories of past summers resurface, old rivalries flare up, and love is rekindled and born anew, resulting in a timeless novel drawn, as the best writing often is, from the ebbs and flow of daily life.

About the Author

Stewart O'Nan's award-winning fiction includes Snow Angels, The Names of the Dead, The Speed Queen, A World Away, A Prayer for the Dying, Everyday People, and the story collection In the Walled City. His nonfiction includes The Circus Fire and the anthology The Vietnam Reader, which he edited.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780802139894
Author:
O'Nan, Stewart
Publisher:
Grove Press
Location:
New York
Subject:
General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
New York
Subject:
Adult
Subject:
Vacation homes
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
Summer resorts
Subject:
Chautauqua Lake Region
Subject:
New york (state)
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1st paperback ed.
Edition Description:
First Trade Paper Edition
Series Volume:
2003-03
Publication Date:
May 2003
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Pages:
528
Dimensions:
8.25 x 5.5 in 20 oz

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » Featured Titles
History and Social Science » World History » General
Religion » Comparative Religion » General

Wish You Were Here Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$3.50 In Stock
Product details 528 pages Grove Press - English 9780802139894 Reviews:
"Review" by , "O'Nan relies on a patient accumulation of detail instead of a focused dramatic arc to achieve a Vermeer-like realism in his latest novel....At times the story is smothered by its own accumulative logic; yet in clinging so relentlessly to the surface of his world, O'Nan slowly pulls the reader into it."
"Review" by , "Taking us inside everyone, from sixtyish women to 10-year-old boys, O'Nan gets all the details right....Although it's a long week and this is a long book, readers will find themselves fully engaged by each character's particular dilemmas and dreams."
"Review" by , "As always, O'Nan limns his characters with authority and empathy....On the debit side, it's hard to take much interest in characters who all see themselves as dreadfully ordinary when their author neither counters that judgment nor makes any claims for the importance of ordinariness. Fine prose and lovely strokes of portraiture throughout, but overall a bit of a disappointment from so ambitious and gifted a writer."
"Review" by , "[O'Nan's] finest and deepest novel to date....The action rises and ebbs with the rhythms of daily life — meals, swimming, after-dinner videos, the children's bedtime....The general absence of melodrama allows O'Nan to focus on the characters, and he draws them with sympathy and subtlety, especially the women."
"Review" by , "Wish You Were Here offers a stark and brilliantly mesmerizing glimpse into the lives of the Maxwells, the most aggressively average American family this side of The Corrections....The joy of the novel — and O'Nan's triumph — is the subtle manner in which the alternating voices draw in the reader. You read on less to find out what happens to the Maxwells than to become better acquainted with the characters, whom O'Nan makes fascinating and familiar."
"Review" by , "O'Nan reveals how close a good and caring family can sit by disaster with disaster nevertheless held in abeyance."
"Review" by , "Marvelous....Readers will not have to wish they were here. From his slow start to his gentle resolution, O'Nan will transport them, and the familiarity of this fictional tribe will harass and lull them in turn, just like family in real life."
"Review" by , "Riveting....O'Nan has written the perfect summer-by-the-lake read....This is the landscape of family Jonathan Franzen illuminates in The Corrections, or Jane Smiley in Ordinary Love."
"Review" by , "Filled with the type of life lessons that the best fiction has to offer....[O'Nan] conveys this through a sprawling, generously written saga that imparts exceptional insights into the human heart."
"Review" by , "[An] affectionate, resonant book....Wish You Were Here reminds the reader of the petty jealousies and deep wounds, the faults and the forgiveness, the prejudices and the trust that make families so alike — and in their precise details, so different."
"Review" by , "An elegy for a lost father, a lost past, and for lost dreams....With deft sympathy, O'Nan chronicles the reactions of nine family members...the nature of families, the nature of life, and [his] exquisitely ordinary portrait is tantamount to a sparkling epiphany."
"Review" by , "The tableau of daily life is expertly painted, and O'Nan takes time with his story, drawing the reader into a world created with unwavering confidence....For this author of seemingly limitless scope, perhaps this novel will prove to be O'Nan's 'breakout book.'"
"Review" by , "It's hard not to admire O'Nan's earnestness and his compassion for his characters."
"Review" by , "Affectionate....Tells a lifetime of stories....O'Nan is as comfortable and enlightening inside the mind of a never-married schoolteacher as he is inside that of a shy, video game-obsessed 8-year-old."
"Review" by , "Stewart O'Nan loves us and forgives us and watches us when we aren?t looking. And he has given us this big, fine, openhearted book in which the inner and outer lives of a family come together, with depth and art."
"Review" by , "Stewart O'Nan's Wish You Were Here is an unflinching portrait of an American family that?s remarkable for its precision, intelligence, and heart. You will not soon forget these people."
"Review" by , "How much Stewart O'Nan knows about his characters, young and old, male and female, and how masterfully he translates that knowledge into language! Wish You Were Here is a novel of unusual grace, power, and beauty — and a complete pleasure."
"Review" by , "With Wish You Were Here, Stewart O'Nan reveals his consummate understanding of family, its minor jealousies, the importance of secrets, slips from grace and the forgiveness of those slips, and faith in spite of all else gone before. The tensions that simmer among the Maxwell family over this final summer by the lake are profoundly human, and Wish You Were Here offers the sort of illustration of our bonds that makes you want to pick up the phone and call home, to make amends, to make certain your love is known."
"Review" by , "With each novel, Stewart O'Nan breaks new ground. And in this fond, generous book he gives us the life of each memorable character as well as the lives the Maxwells live together. Here is a houseful — a family full — of story that is richly, affectionately told."
"Synopsis" by ,
Award-winning writer Stewart O'Nan has been acclaimed by critics as one of the most accomplished novelists writing today. Now comes his finest and most complete novel to date. A year after the death of her husband, Henry, Emily Maxwell gathers her family by Lake Chautauqua in western New York for what will be a last vacation at their summer cottage. Joining is her sister-in-law, who silently mourns the sale of the lake house, and a long-lost love. Emily's firebrand daughter, a recovering alcoholic recently separated from her husband, brings her children from Detroit. Emily's son, who has quit his job and mortgaged his future to pursue his art, comes accompanied by his children and his wife, who is secretly heartened to be visiting the house for the last time. Memories of past summers resurface, old rivalries flare up, and love is rekindled and born anew, resulting in a timeless novel drawn, as the best writing often is, from the ebbs and flow of daily life.
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