Barefoot to Avalon: A Brother's Story

Open Road + Grove/Atlantic
3
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From a New York Times notable author comes a “fiercely honest . . . and utterly heartbreaking” memoir of brotherhood, grief, and mental illness (Jay McInerney).
 
In 2000, while moving his household from Vermont to North Carolina, author David Payne watched from his rearview mirror as his younger brother, George A., driving behind him in a two-man convoy of rental trucks, lost control of his vehicle, fishtailed, flipped over in the road, and died instantly. Soon thereafter, David’s life entered a downward spiral that lasted several years. His career came to a standstill, his marriage disintegrated, and his drinking went from a cocktail hour indulgence to a full-blown addiction. He found himself haunted not only by George A.’s death, but also by his brother’s manic depression, a hereditary illness that overlaid a dark and violent family history whose roots now gripped David, threatening both his and his children’s futures. The only way out, he found, was to write about his brother.
 
This is the “piercing . . . tour de force” account of David and George A.’s boyhood footrace that lasted long into their adulthood, defining their relationship and their lives (Los Angeles Times). As universal as it is intimate, this is an exceptional memoir of sibling rivalry and sibling love, and of the torments a family can hold silent and carry across generations. A story not only of survival in the face of adversity but of hard-won wisdom, Barefoot to Avalon is “an elegy to a brother that plumbs depths beyond depths—a fever-dream of a memoir, a blazing map of familial love and loss, headlong and heartbreaking and gorgeously written” (James Kaplan, national bestselling author of Frank: The Voice and Sinatra: The Chairman).
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About the author

David Payne is the author of five novels, including Confessions of a Taoist on Wall Street, winner of the Houghton Mifflin Literary Fellowship Award, Ruin Creek, a New York Times Notable Book, and Back to Wando Passo. Payne has taught at Bennington, Duke, Hollins and is a founding faculty member in the Queens University MFA Program.
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4.7
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road + Grove/Atlantic
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Published on
Aug 4, 2015
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Pages
336
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ISBN
9780802191847
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Language
English
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Genres
Biography & Autobiography / Personal Memoirs
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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