A Happy Marriage: A Novel

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A Happy Marriage is both intimate and expansive: It is the story of Enrique Sabas and his wife, Margaret, a novel that alternates between the romantic misadventures of the first weeks of their courtship and the final months of Margaret's life as she says good-bye to her family, friends, and children -- and to Enrique. Spanning thirty years, this achingly honest story is about what it means for two people to spend a lifetime together -- and what makes a happy marriage.

Yglesias's career as a novelist began in 1970 when he wrote an autobiographical novel at sixteen, hailed by critics for its stunning and revelatory depiction of adolescence. A Happy Marriage, his first work of fiction in thirteen years, was inspired by his relationship with his wife, Margaret, who died in 2004. Bold, elegiac, and emotionally suspenseful, even though we know what happens, Yglesias's beautiful novel will break every reader's heart -- while encouraging all of us with its clear-eyed evocation of the enduring value of marriage.
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About the author

Rafael Yglesias is an American novelist and screenwriter, the son of writers Jose and Helen Yglesias. He dropped out of high school upon publication of his first novel, Hide Fox, And All After in 1972 at age seventeen. He is the author of nine novels, including A Happy Marriage, winner of the 2009 Los Angeles Times Fiction Prize, Dr. Neruda's Cure For Evil and Fearless, which he adapted for the screen, and The Wisdom of Perversity. He also wrote the screenplays for Death and the Maiden, Les Miserables, From Hell, and Dark Water. He has two sons: Matthew Yglesias, a Fellow at the Center For American Progress, public intellectual and author of Heads In The Sand; Nicholas Yglesias is a fantasy novelist who has recently completed Succession, the first of a three volume trilogy. Rafael lives in the city of his birth, New York.

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Additional Information

Publisher
Simon and Schuster
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Published on
Jul 7, 2009
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Pages
384
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ISBN
9781439109816
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Features
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / 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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I should have told. Julie’s right: I would have saved dozens of others. Jeff, Julie, Sam, the academy kids, the Huck Finn boys, everyone else was ignorant or greedy or scared or confused or overwhelmed by bullies, but I was strong enough—I could’ve pushed him away. I did push him away. I saved myself and let everyone else suffer. Me and the god of creation—we’re the villains of this story.

Brian and Jeff were best friends, growing up together in New York City in the late 1960s. Then something happened that drove a wedge between them, ending both their friendship and their childhood, something that neither ever spoke about . . . at least until their shared secret resurfaced some forty years later, forcing them to reunite and, along with Jeff’s cousin Julie, to face the consequences of their years of silence.

In The Wisdom of Perversity, Rafael Yglesias, the critically acclaimed, bestselling novelist and screenwriter and the author of A Happy Marriage, winner of the Los Angeles Times Fiction Prize, and Fearless, the basis for the cult film by the same name, has crafted a novel that tells the stories of three childhood friends who join together as adults to acknowledge the ways in which their lives were altered by the actions of a predator, a predator who now, many years later, has been exposed by more recent victims yet is on the verge of escaping punishment--thanks to his wealth and influence.

Damaged in different ways by the events of the past but all sharing the same feelings of guilt and anger for allowing this man to go unpunished, leaving him free to abuse others, Julie, Jeff, and Brian band together to force a public outcry that will assure that he will finally face justice. With a tone that cleverly mixes humor with stark reality, The Wisdom of Perversity is a groundbreaking novel that by giving a voice to the youthful victims of sexual abuse will inspire both praise and debate.

“Many contemporary works of fiction are bold,but few are this courageous . . . Rafael Yglesias has written a frightening, evocative, and intensely compassionate novel that manages somehow to do the impossible,shedding light on one of the darkest corners of this human theater.” —Helen Schulman, author of This Beautiful Life

“The sly courage, the deft intelligence, and the fierceness of vision that we, his fans, have come to expect from a Raphael Yglesias novel all blaze brightly forth—and cast very dark shadows—in The Wisdom of Perversity.” —Michael Chabon, Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist
In this lyrical and poignant book, Finding Immortality: The Making of One American Family, award-winning writer Herbert Hadad records the joys and sorrows of parenthood and, in so doing, opens a wide window into family life that is intimate and unmistakably American. The masterful prose of Finding Immortality conveys the true tale of one family confronting and triumphing over real issues, from infidelity and drink to mortality and racism. These universal themes provide a treasury of lessons for parents and all other admirers of fine writing to learn and enjoy. Here is what some readers have had to say about Finding Immortality:

These gritty and flavorful essays address the emotional costs of virtue, faith, and true love.
Lawrence Wright, winner of the Pulitzer Prize in nonfiction for The Looming Tower and staff writer for The New Yorker

An elegant writer and story teller, Hadad spins tales as compelling as OHenrys. These are vivid, often roguish, portraits of the angst and pleasures of contemporary existence.
Selwyn Raab, author and retired New York Times reporter

Kid boxer and life-long journalist Herb Hadad has been around. Hes seen a lot. Part Jew, part Arab, and all American, he loves his children, his wife, and his world. These stories will clear the mind and warm the heart.
Benjamin H. Cheever, novelist and journalist

As strong as the bonds are among Herbert Hadads family members in these pellucid domestic narratives, he makes clear that as a father he has as many faults as the next guy. These are not stories about suburban Care Bears. Yet the episodes flow so smoothly that you imagine it must be easy to do this kind of writing. It isnt.
Stephen S. Pickering, retired New York Times staff editor

Hadad doesnt blink, he doesnt flinch. He looks straight at his subjects, sometimes in sorrow but mostly in joy, and tells the stories that dwell in most of us. Finding Immortality is a wonderful read.
the late Dennis Duggan, columnist, Newsday

Herb Hadad distills with a great eye and a great ear what we care about and presents it brilliantly, with wit and understanding.
Dr. Myles Striar, professor of education emeritus, Boston University, writer, and translator

His essays are personal and quirky, with an angle, a larger theme, that makes them stick and gives them an edge. The big test: as a reader it is hard not to care about Herbert Hadad and his family. I think of E.B. White here, how he could make his geese, his dachshund Fred, his neighbor with the plow, himself with doldrums, all off-center and yet universal, something we understood. He made his little world feel connected to ours, us to him. Thats the gift. I think Herbert does that.
Geraldine Van Dusen, editor and freelance journalist

I should have told. Julie’s right: I would have saved dozens of others. Jeff, Julie, Sam, the academy kids, the Huck Finn boys, everyone else was ignorant or greedy or scared or confused or overwhelmed by bullies, but I was strong enough—I could’ve pushed him away. I did push him away. I saved myself and let everyone else suffer. Me and the god of creation—we’re the villains of this story.

Brian and Jeff were best friends, growing up together in New York City in the late 1960s. Then something happened that drove a wedge between them, ending both their friendship and their childhood, something that neither ever spoke about . . . at least until their shared secret resurfaced some forty years later, forcing them to reunite and, along with Jeff’s cousin Julie, to face the consequences of their years of silence.

In The Wisdom of Perversity, Rafael Yglesias, the critically acclaimed, bestselling novelist and screenwriter and the author of A Happy Marriage, winner of the Los Angeles Times Fiction Prize, and Fearless, the basis for the cult film by the same name, has crafted a novel that tells the stories of three childhood friends who join together as adults to acknowledge the ways in which their lives were altered by the actions of a predator, a predator who now, many years later, has been exposed by more recent victims yet is on the verge of escaping punishment--thanks to his wealth and influence.

Damaged in different ways by the events of the past but all sharing the same feelings of guilt and anger for allowing this man to go unpunished, leaving him free to abuse others, Julie, Jeff, and Brian band together to force a public outcry that will assure that he will finally face justice. With a tone that cleverly mixes humor with stark reality, The Wisdom of Perversity is a groundbreaking novel that by giving a voice to the youthful victims of sexual abuse will inspire both praise and debate.

“Many contemporary works of fiction are bold,but few are this courageous . . . Rafael Yglesias has written a frightening, evocative, and intensely compassionate novel that manages somehow to do the impossible,shedding light on one of the darkest corners of this human theater.” —Helen Schulman, author of This Beautiful Life

“The sly courage, the deft intelligence, and the fierceness of vision that we, his fans, have come to expect from a Raphael Yglesias novel all blaze brightly forth—and cast very dark shadows—in The Wisdom of Perversity.” —Michael Chabon, Pulitzer Prize–winning novelist
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