Nick Dybek is a recipient of a Granta New Voices selection, a Michener-Copernicus Society of America Award, and a Maytag Fellowship. He received a BA from the University of Michigan and an MFA from The Iowa Writers’ Workshop. He teaches at Oregon State University. He is the author of When Captain Flint Was Still a Good Man and The Verdun Affair.
To Cal, Alaska remains as mythical and mysterious as Treasure Island, and the stories his father returns with are as mesmerizing as those he once invented about Captain Flint before he turned pirate. But while Cal is too young to accompany his father, he is old enough to know that everything depends on the fate of those few boats thousands of miles to the north. He is also old enough to feel the tension between his parents over whether he will follow in his father's footsteps. And old enough to wonder about his mother's relationship with John Gaunt, owner of the fleet.
Then Gaunt dies suddenly, leaving the business in the hands of his son, who seems intent on selling away the fishermen's livelihood. Soon Cal stumbles on evidence that his father may have taken extreme measures to salvage their way of life. As winter comes on, his suspicions deepening and his moral compass shattered, he is forced to make a terrible choice.
Thus begins the irresistible story of two fixer-uppers-an old house and a young woman-and their efforts to recapture their true luster.
When Hetty Longden, freshly dumped and brokenhearted, agrees to look after her great-uncle's long-abandoned mansion in the British countryside, she's at something of a lifetime low. With no job, no lover, no prospects, and no particular talent for resuscitating crumbling estates, she hope for nothing more than some good old-fashioned escape. What she finds includes a cast of quirky an ever-present neighbors, a couple of SNAGs (Sensitive New Age Guys), some very humorless bank officials, two disarming little canines, one gracious, dilapidated, romantic old house, and, just maybe, enough elbow grease to polish everything up again.
A British bestseller that's as inviting as an elegant old house full of unexplored rooms (after a good scrubbing-down, of course), Stately Pursuits is the funniest, smartest, and warmest read of the season.