Brightness Falls

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Combining the lyrical observation of F. Scott Fitzgerald with the laser-bright social satire of Evelyn Waugh, Jay McInerney gives us a novel that is stunningly accomplished and profoundly affecting. 

As he maps the fault lines spreading through the once-impenetrable marriage of Russell and Corrine Calloway and chronicles Russell's wildly ambitious scheme to seize control of the publishing house at which he works, Jay McInerney creates an elegy for New York in the 1980s. From the literary chimeras and corporate raiders to those dispossessed by the pandemonium of money and power, Brightness Falls captures a rash era at its moment of reckoning and gives reality back to a time that now seems decidedly unreal.
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About the author

Jay McInerney is the author of eight novels, a collection of short stories and three collections of essays on wine. He lives in New York City and Bridgehampton, New York.
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4.0
6 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Vintage
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Published on
Aug 17, 2011
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Pages
432
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ISBN
9780307763228
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Coming of Age
Fiction / Family Life / General
Fiction / Literary
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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"[E]xpect to find insights that make you stop, go back and read again.... Take it from us: You don't know what's coming in the last third of this book, and you will be astounded." —O, the Oprah Magazine

A beautifully wrought story of an ad hoc family and the crisis they must overcome together.

Edith is a widowed landlady who rents apartments in her Brooklyn brownstone to an unlikely collection of humans, all deeply in need of shelter. Crippled in various ways—in spirit, in mind, in body, in heart—the renters struggle to navigate daily existence, and soon come to realize that Edith’s deteriorating mind, and the menacing presence of her estranged, unscrupulous son, Owen, is the greatest challenge they must confront together.

Faced with eviction by Owen and his designs on the building, the tenants—Paulie, an unusually disabled man and his burdened sister, Claudia; Edward, a misanthropic stand-up comic; Adeleine, a beautiful agoraphobe; Thomas, a young artist recovering from a stroke—must find in one another what the world has not yet offered or has taken from them: family, respite, security, worth, love.

The threat to their home scatters them far from where they’ve begun, to an ascetic commune in Northern California, the motel rooms of depressed middle America, and a stunning natural phenomenon in Tennessee, endangering their lives and their visions of themselves along the way.

With humanity, humor, grace, and striking prose, Kathleen Alcott portrays these unforgettable characters in their search for connection, for a life worth living, for home.
“A wild ride of a book . . . A story in which anything and everything can happen, and mostly does. This is a book of many trips--across oceans, back to the past, and, most profoundly, into the infinite deep space of the human heart. Brock Clarke has given us a wonderful novel that bursts with all the meaty stuff of real life.” —Ben Fountain, author of Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk
 
With the comic unpredictability of a Wes Anderson movie and the inventive sharpness of a John Irving novel, author Brock Clarke introduces readers to an ordinary man who is about to embark on an absurdly extraordinary adventure.

After his mother, a theologian and bestselling author, dies in a fiery explosion, forty-nine-year-old Calvin Bledsoe’s heretofore uninspired life is upended. A stranger shows up at the funeral, claiming to be Calvin’s aunt Beatrice, and insists that Calvin accompany her on a trip to Europe, immediately.

As he and Beatrice traverse the continent, it quickly becomes apparent that his aunt’s clandestine behavior is leading him into danger. Facing a comic menagerie of antiquities thieves, secret agents, religious fanatics, and an ex-wife who’s stalking him, Calvin begins to suspect there might be some meaning behind the madness. Maybe he’s not the person he thought he was? Perhaps no one is who they appear to be? But there’s little time for soul-searching, as Calvin first has to figure out why he has been kidnapped, why his aunt disappeared, and who the hell burned down his house. Powered by pitch-perfect dialogue, lovable characters, and surprising optimism, Who Are You, Calvin Bledsoe? is a modern-day Travels with My Aunt, a novel about grabbing life, and holding on--wherever it may take you.
“Writing in a fervently literary style that flirts openly with the traditions of Salinger, Plath, and Fitzgerald, Hernández is a diamond-sharp satirist and a bracingly fresh chronicler of the heartbreak of trying to grow up. Honest and absurd, funny and tragic, wild and lovely, this novel describes modern coming-of-age with poetic precision.”*

The Devil Wears Prada meets The Bell Jar in this story of a wide-eyed Ivy League grad who discovers that his dream of “making it” at leading New York City fashion magazine Régine may well be his undoing.

Elián San Jamar knew from childhood that he was destined for a better life than the one his working-class multiracial parents share in Texas—a life inspired by Régine’s pages. A full ride to Yale opens the door to a more glamorous world, and he quickly befriends Madeline and Dorian, both scions of incredible wealth and privilege. With their help, he reinvents himself, and after four decadent years he graduates as Ethan St. James. But reality hits hard when Ethan arrives at Régine and is relegated to the lowest rung of the ladder.

Mordantly funny and emotionally ruthless, An Innocent Fashion is the saga of a true millennial—naïve, idealistic, struggling with his identity and sexuality—trying to survive in an industry, and in a city, notorious for attracting new graduates only to chew them up and spit them out. Oscillating between melodrama and whip-smart sarcasm, pretentiousness and heartbreaking vulnerability, increasingly disillusioned with Régine and Madeline and Dorian, Ethan begins to unravel.

As the narratives of his conflicted childhood, cloistered collegiate experience, and existential crisis braid together, this deeply moving coming-of-age novel for the twenty-first century spirals toward a devastating realization: You can follow your dreams, but what happens if your dreams are just not enough?

*Kirkus Reviews (starred)

From Paris to London to wartime New York, a young woman comes of age—and comes apart—in this witty novel by the author of The Man Who Loved Children.
 
When Letty Fox first arrives in Manhattan, her goal is to escape her chaotic upbringing in London and Paris and the cynicism of her family, and create a fresh new start. This will be the existence she dreamed of—flitting from affair to affair, debating social issues over martinis, and finishing that novel about Robespierre that will make her envied by all the right people. Yet, Letty is at odds with both the city and herself: sexually adventurous yet fidgety for lasting romance, radically independent yet conservative, as likely to be betrayed by friends as she is to betray. And when Letty runs through the streets of Greenwich Village, it’s as much to unleash her glorious appetite for life as it is to suppress the “black moods” that always threaten to derail it.

“No wonder [Christina Stead’s] work has reminded many of Tolstoy, Ibsen, Joyce,” said the New York Times Book Review. When this poisonously funny satire of the American bourgeoisie was first published in 1947, it was banned in the author’s native Australia, and met with alarm by stateside critics for its moral ambiguity. Ahead of its time with its vibrant and furious heroine, it is destined for rediscovery.
 
From an author Saul Bellow called “really marvelous,” Letty Fox is a “merciless, cruel, and magnificently unforgiving” comedy of manners (Angela Carter, London Review of Books).
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