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Powell's City of Books 1005 W Burnside St. between 10th and 11th Ave. Portland, OR 503 228 4651
The Dismal Science (Tin House) tells of a middle-aged vice president at the World Bank, Vincenzo D'Orsi, who publicly quits his job over a seemingly minor argument with a colleague. A scandal inevitably ensues, and he systematically burns every bridge to his former life. After abandoning his career, Vincenzo, a recent widower, is at a complete loss as to what to do with himself. The story follows his efforts to rebuild his identity without a vocation or the company of his wife. An exploration of the fragile nature of identity, Peter Mountford's novel reveals the terrifying speed with which a person's sense of self can be annihilated.