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This title in other editions

Other titles in the P.S. P.S. series:

Baker Towers (P.S.)

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ISBN13: 9780060509422
ISBN10: 0060509422
Condition: Standard
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A stunning follow-up to her bestselling debut, Mrs. Kimble, Jennifer Haigh returns with Baker Towers, a compelling story of love and loss in a western Pennsylvania mining town in the years after World War II.

Bakerton is a company town built on coal, a town of church festivals and ethnic neighborhoods, hunters' breakfasts and firemen's parades. Its children are raised in company houses — three rooms upstairs, three rooms downstairs. Its ball club leads the coal company league. The 12 Baker mines offer good union jobs, and the looming black piles of mine dirt don't bother anyone. Called Baker Towers, they are local landmarks, clear evidence that the mines are booming. Baker Towers mean good wages and meat on the table, two weeks' paid vacation and presents under the Christmas tree.

The mines were not named for Bakerton; Bakerton was named for the mines. This is an important distinction. It explains the order of things.

Born and raised on Bakerton's Polish Hill, the five Novak children come of age during wartime, a thrilling era when the world seems on the verge of changing forever. The oldest, Georgie, serves on a minesweeper in the South Pacific and glimpses life beyond Bakerton, a promising future he is determined to secure at all costs. His sister Dorothy, a fragile beauty, takes a job in Washington, D.C., and finds she is unprepared for city life. Brilliant Joyce longs to devote herself to something of consequence but instead becomes the family's keystone, bitterly aware of the opportunities she might have had elsewhere. Sandy sails through life on looks and charm, and Lucy, the volatile baby, devours the family's attention and develops a bottomless appetite for love.

Baker Towers is a family saga and a love story, a hymn to a time and place long gone, to America's industrial past and the men and women we now call the Greatest Generation. This is a feat of imagination from an extraordinary new voice in American fiction, a writer of enormous power and skill.

Review:

"An elegant, elegiac multigenerational saga about a small coal-mining community in western Pennsylvania that shows how talented [Haigh] really is....Almost mythic in its ambition, somewhere between Oates and Updike country, and thoroughly satisfying." Kirkus Reviews (Starred Review)

Review:

"Baker Towers is a novel possessing a rare, quiet power to evoke a time long past and the character of the people who lived then." Booklist (Starred Review)

Review:

"Haigh uses evocative prose to create a picture of a company town — and of the human condition — that is both accurate and moving." Library Journal

Synopsis:

Bakerton is a community of company houses and church festivals, of union squabbles and firemen's parades. Its neighborhoods include Little Italy, Swedetown, and Polish Hill. For its tight-knit citizens — and the five children of the Novak family — the 1940s will be a decade of excitement, tragedy, and stunning change. Baker Towers is a family saga and a love story, a hymn to a time and place long gone, to America's industrial past, and to the men and women we now call the Greatest Generation. It is a feat of imagination from an extraordinary voice in American fiction, a writer of enormous power and skill.

Synopsis:

The author of Mrs. Kimble returns with an emotionally rich and evocative exploration of community, love, and family set in a western Pennsylvania coal town in the years following World War II.

About the Author

Jennifer Haigh is the author of the New York Times bestseller Baker Towers, winner of the 2006 PEN/L. L. Winship Award for outstanding book by a New England author, and Mrs. Kimble, which won the PEN/Hemingway Award for debut fiction and was a finalist for the Book Sense Book of the Year. Both novels were number one Book Sense picks. Her fiction has appeared in Granta, Ploughshares, Good Housekeeping, and elsewhere. She lives in the Boston area.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

redrockbookworm, July 22, 2008 (view all comments by redrockbookworm)
For this reader Baker Towers held a very personal message. It reversed the passage of time and took me on a vicarious trip back to the small town of my youth. In describing Bakerton, Jennifer Haigh accurately captured the essence of small town America in the 1940's , 50's and 60's where parents from the "old country" worked hard in an attempt to ensure that their offspring would have a chance at the American Dream. Haigh's Bakerton could easily have been the small, predominently Polish, steel-mill town I grew up in on the South Side of Chicago. Its Baker Towers definietly brought back memories of steel waste poured down the hill adjacent to the mills that became the "slag heaps" that burned brightly and lit the night sky.

As for the members of the Novak family, they could have been the my cousins, or the kids next door, or some of my school chums.......all bent on leading more fulfilling lives than their parents. Like the Novaks, some stayed to live and work among parents, family and friends while others pursued other avenues and a life away from the mills. Yet no matter how far away they traveled or what their accomplishments, that small town would always welcome them home.

This bittersweet tale of our industrial past evokes not only feelings of nostalgia, but vividly presents us with an intimate look at a time in our history when family and friends worked together toward a common goal. This was the time before our manufacturing cities became known as "The Rust Belt" and we actually employed people to produced more than hamburgers, and finally it was a time when folks had a genuine love and pride in this country.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780060509422
Subtitle:
A Novel
Author:
Haigh, Jennifer
Author:
by Jennifer Haigh
Publisher:
Harper Perennial
Subject:
General
Subject:
City and town life
Subject:
Historical - General
Subject:
Sagas
Subject:
Pennsylvania
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Historical fiction
Subject:
Domestic fiction
Subject:
Literature-A to Z
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Series:
P.S.
Publication Date:
20051227
Binding:
Paperback
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
368
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 1.25 in 24.00 oz

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Related Subjects


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

Baker Towers (P.S.) Used Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$4.95 In Stock
Product details 368 pages Libri - English 9780060509422 Reviews:
"Review" by , "An elegant, elegiac multigenerational saga about a small coal-mining community in western Pennsylvania that shows how talented [Haigh] really is....Almost mythic in its ambition, somewhere between Oates and Updike country, and thoroughly satisfying."
"Review" by , "Baker Towers is a novel possessing a rare, quiet power to evoke a time long past and the character of the people who lived then."
"Review" by , "Haigh uses evocative prose to create a picture of a company town — and of the human condition — that is both accurate and moving."
"Synopsis" by , Bakerton is a community of company houses and church festivals, of union squabbles and firemen's parades. Its neighborhoods include Little Italy, Swedetown, and Polish Hill. For its tight-knit citizens — and the five children of the Novak family — the 1940s will be a decade of excitement, tragedy, and stunning change. Baker Towers is a family saga and a love story, a hymn to a time and place long gone, to America's industrial past, and to the men and women we now call the Greatest Generation. It is a feat of imagination from an extraordinary voice in American fiction, a writer of enormous power and skill.
"Synopsis" by , The author of Mrs. Kimble returns with an emotionally rich and evocative exploration of community, love, and family set in a western Pennsylvania coal town in the years following World War II.

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