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A Few Corrections: A Novelby Brad Leithauser
Synopses & Reviews
This moving and resourceful novel by one of our most acclaimed writers opens with a newspaper obituary. The deceased is Wesley Sultan, a respectable, unexceptional, civic-minded midwestern businessman. But the novel’s first sentence hints of mysterious revelations to come: “There are at least a dozen errors here.”
Step by step, the book’s narrator—himself mysterious—sets about correcting the errors, investigating the deceptive but appealing Wesley Sultan by way of the lives he touched and often manipulated: his wives, his siblings, his
girlfriends, his children. Each chapter reprints the obituary but each time with a new handwritten amendment—correction piling upon correction until the original has been effectively demolished. It seems that businessman Wesley—handsome, dapper, flirtatious, and ambitious—lived a far more tangled and ambiguous life than the one he presented to the world.
A Few Corrections is both a psychological detective story and an epitaph for a vanishing figure—the gallant, sports-car-driving local Romeo who flourished in midcentury throughout small-town America. Written with humor and lyrical dash, it is also a compelling novel that explores its subject with wit and a flowering tenderness.
From the Hardcover edition.
As the narrator sets out to correct the errors he discovers in the obituary of Wesley Sultan, a respectable, unexceptional, civic-minded Midwestern businessman, he discovers that Wesley had led a far more complex, tangled, and ambiguous life than he had presented to the world. By the author of The Friends of Freeland. Reprint. 10,000 first printing.
According to his obituary, Wesley Sultan died at the age of 63, leaving behind three children, a wife, an ex-wife, a brother, a sister, and a life-long business career. According to his obituary, Wesley Sultan led a quiet, respectable, and unremarkable life. Our narrator, however, is about to discover that nothing could be further from the truth.
Using Sultan’s obituary as a road map to the unknown terrain of the man himself, our narrator discovers dead-ends, wrong turns, and unexpected destinations in every line. As he travels from the bleak Michigan winter to the steamy streets of Miami to the idyllic French countryside, in search of those who knew Wesley best, he gradually reconstructs the life of an exceptionally handsome, ambitious, and deceptive man to whom women were everything. And as the margins of the obituary fill with handwritten corrections, as details emerge and facts are revised, our mysterious narrator–whose interest in his quarry is far from random–has no choice but to confront the truth of his own life as well.
About the Author
Brad Leithauser lives in Amherst, Massachusetts.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
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