Synopses & Reviews
In this compelling family saga set during a tumultuous era in Boston history, 1960-1984, James Carroll chronicles the lives of two brothers, Nick and Terry Doyle, as they strive to move beyond the strictures of their working-class Charlestown neighborhood to" the city below." Though one brother is drawn to the worlds of politics and real estate and the other to the underworld of organized crime, their fates remain inextricably linked as each struggles to break free of the blood tie holding him captive to the past. As in his previous best-selling novels Mortal Friends and Family Trade, James Carroll seamlessly blends fiction and history to create a gripping tale of family bonds and ethnic violence, vows and betrayals, and political intrigue in the inner sanctums of both church and state.
"a rich, seductive meld of characters real and fictive, of history and fancy" The New York Times
In this compelling family saga set between 1960 and 1984 in Boston, this New York Times Notable Book of 1994 chronicles the lives of two brothers, Nick and Terry Doyle, as they strive to move beyond the strictures of their working-class Charlestown enighborhood to "the city below".
About the Author
James Carroll was born in Chicago in 1943 and raised in Washington, D.C., where his father was an Air Force general and the director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. He was educated at Washington"s Priory School and at an American high school in Wiesbaden, Germany. He attended Georgetown University before entering St. Paul"s College, the Paulist Fathers"seminary, where he received his B.A. and M.A. degrees. Carroll has been a civil rights worker, an antiwar activist, and a community organizer in Washington and New York. He was ordained to the priesthood in 1969. Carroll served as Catholic chaplain at Boston University from 1969 to 1974. During that time, he studied poetry with George Starbuck and published books on religious subjects and a book of poems. He was also a columnist for the National Catholic Reporter (1972-1975) and was named Best Columnist by the Catholic Press Association. For his writing on religion and politics he received the first Thomas Merton Award from Pittsburgh"s Thomas Merton Center in 1972. Carroll left the priesthood to become a writer, and in 1974 was a playwright-in-residence at the Berkshire Theater Festival. His plays have been produced at the BTF and at Boston"s Next Move Theater. In 1976 he published his first novel, MADONNA RED, which was followed by--among others--MORTAL FRIENDS (1978), PRINCE OF PEACE (1984), and MEMORIAL BRIDGE (1991). THE CITY BELOW (1994) is now available in a Houghton Mifflin trade-paperback edition. He has written for numerous publications, including THE NEW YORKER, and his op-ed column appears weekly in the BOSTON GLOBE. He won a National Book Award for AN AMERICAN REQUIEM. James Carroll lives in Boston with his wife, the novelist Alexandra Marshall, and their two children.