We Are Not Ourselves: A Novel

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New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2014 * Washington Post Top 50 Fiction List for 2014 * Entertainment Weekly Ten Best Fiction Books of 2014 * Esquire 5 Most Important Books of 2014 * Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2014 * One of Janet Maslin’s Ten Favorite Books of the Year in The New York Times

The instant New York Times bestseller the Washington Post calls a “stunning…superbly rendered” novel, and Entertainment Weekly describes as “a gripping family saga, maybe the best…since The Corrections.”

Born in 1941, Eileen Tumulty is raised by her Irish immigrant parents in Woodside, Queens, in an apartment where the mood swings between heartbreak and hilarity, depending on how much alcohol has been consumed. From an early age, Eileen wished that she lived somewhere else. She sets her sights on upper class Bronxville, New York, and an American Dream is born.

Driven by this longing, Eileen places her stock and love in Ed Leary, a handsome young scientist, and with him begins a family. Over the years Eileen encourages her husband to want more: a better job, better friends, a better house. It slowly becomes clear that his growing reluctance is part of a deeper, more incomprehensive psychological shift. An inescapable darkness enters their lives, and Eileen and Ed and their son Connell try desperately to hold together a semblance of the reality they have known, and to preserve, against long odds, an idea they have cherished of the future.

Described by The New York Times Book Review as “A long, gorgeous epic, full of love and caring…one of the best novels you’ll read this year,” We Are Not Ourselves is a testament to our greatest desires and our greatest frailties. Through the lives of these characters, Thomas charts the story of the American Century. The result is, “stunning…The joys of this book are the joys of any classic work of literature—for that is what this is destined to become—superbly rendered small moments that capture both an individual life and the universality of that person’s experience” (The Washington Post).
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About the author

Matthew Thomas was born in the Bronx and grew up in Queens. A graduate of the University of Chicago, he has an MA from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University and an MFA from the University of California, Irvine. His New York Times-bestselling novel We Are Not Ourselves has been shortlisted for the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize from the Center for Fiction and longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award. He lives with his wife and twin children in New Jersey.

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Reviews

4.1
76 total
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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Aug 19, 2014
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Pages
640
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ISBN
9781476756684
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / General
Fiction / Literary
Fiction / Sagas
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Eligible for Family Library

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Matthew Thomas
Eileen Tumulty er fra 1941, irsk immigrant, og er vokset op Queens, i et hjem, hvor humøret svinger mellem dyb smerte og stor glæde, afhængigt af meget alkohol, der er blevet indtaget.

Da Eileen møder Ed Leary, som adskiller sig meget fra de mænd, hun normalt omgås, tror hun, at hun har fundet den perfekte partner, en mand, der kan føre hende ind i den verden, hun længes efter at tilhøre. De gifter sig, og Eileen opdager hurtigt, at Ed ikke har de samme ambitioner om at tage del i den store amerikanske drøm, som hun selv har.

Hun tilskynder Ed til at ville noget mere med livet: at få et bedre arbejde, flere og bedre venner, et større hus, men som årene går, bliver det tydeligt, at Eds tiltagende modvilje er udtryk for en dybere og mere alvorlig psykologisk dysfunktion. Et uundgåeligt mørke sniger sig ind i deres liv, og Eileen og Ed og deres søn Connell prøver desperat at opretholde et skær af den virkelighed, de er vant til, og at holde fast i tanken om og ambitionerne for en lykkelig fremtid.

Med beretningen om familien Leary fortæller Matthew Thomas historien om den store amerikanske drøm, med et skarpt fokus på ideen om den lykkelige familie og den økonomiske velstand, der gennesyrede tiden efter Anden Verdenskrig. Resultatet er en fascinerende og bevægende roman; en historie, der minder os om, at livet er mere end en endeløs række af sejre og nederlag, og at vi lever for at elske og blive elsket, og at vi skal huske at fortælle hinanden det, inden det er for sent.
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