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      Did You Ever Have a Family

      Bill Clegg 9781476798172

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Edinburgh : a Novel (01 Edition)


Edinburgh : a Novel (01 Edition) Cover

ISBN13: 9780312305031
ISBN10: 0312305036
Condition: Student Owned
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Publisher Comments:

Twelve-year-old Fee is a gifted Korean-American soprano in a boys' choir in Maine whose choir director reveals himself to be a serial pedophile. Fee and his friends are forced to bear grief, shame, and pain that endure long after the director is imprisoned. Fee survives even as his friends do not, but a deep-seated horror and dread accompany him through his self-destructive college days and after, until the day he meets a beautiful young student named Warden and is forced to confront the demons of his brutal past.

About the Author

Alexander Chee's work has appeared in Interview, Big, Out, and in the anthologies Boys Like Us, Loss Within Loss, Men on Men 2000, and His 3. He teaches at the New School.

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joliehale, April 13, 2009 (view all comments by joliehale)
At age 12, Korean-American choir boy Fee is molested by his choir director. "Big Eric" makes victims of a dozen other boys before he is caught and imprisoned, including Fee's best friend and crush, Peter. Even though the threat of Big Eric is removed from the boys' lives, the damage he caused perpetuates itself as they continue to self-destruct in varying degrees.

Despite his guilt over his failure to protect Peter, Fee survives to adulthood. He settles into a committed relationship and becomes a teacher, unaware that one of his teenage students, Warden, is Big Eric's son. Warden's instant attraction to Fee, combined with his resemblance to Peter, forces Fee to confront the demons he thought he had buried.

This novel is exactly what readers of literary fiction are hungry for: a compelling story told in exquisite prose. Chee balances the darkness of the main storyline with a large, varied cast of secondary characters and experiences that broaden Fee's life into more than a tragic victim's tale. When I reached the middle section of the book, told from Warden's point of view, I wasn't sure what to make of it, but it turned out to be just what was needed to reinvigorate the story and bring back the narrative momentum that was lost after Peter's death.

The ending knocked the wind out of me. I went into this book thinking I knew where it was going, and I was partially right, but there is a twist that will drag you down into the darkness with Fee--and then lift you up again.

I'd also like to point out that from the way he describes the experience of singing, Alexander Chee must have been a singer in his youth. I was one, and I have never read so many spot-on observations about the sensation of singing. It's a difficult experience to put into words, and Chee has succeeded beautifully.
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Product Details

Chee, Alexander
Picador USA
Adult child sexual abuse victims
Korean Americans
Psychological fiction
Gay youth
Literature-A to Z
Edition Description:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
8.27 x 5.49 x 0.6 in

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Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z

Edinburgh : a Novel (01 Edition) Used Trade Paper
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Product details 224 pages Picador USA - English 9780312305031 Reviews:
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