Rodin's Debutante: A Novel

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A “beguiling and unnerving” novel of a young man haunted by an act of violence, from the award-winning author of An Unfinished Season (Booklist, starred review).
 
As a small-town boy in the early twentieth century, Lee Goodell learned about a brutal crime—and the efforts of his father, a judge, to help cover it up. Lee would go on to attend a private boys’ school, become a sculptor, become familiar with both Chicago’s gritty South Side and its wealthy, intellectual Hyde Park, and get married. But it is his reunion with a girl from his childhood, a victim of a sexual assault she cannot remember, that will spur him to contemplate the event that marked the end of his boyhood and the beginning of his understanding of the world, in this sprawling, powerful novel by “one of the most accomplished and admirable American writers” (The Washington Post Book World).
 
“An achievement . . . [that] fuses the romanticism of the early Kerouac and his mentor, Thomas Wolfe, with the wry humor of Richard Yates.” —The New York Times Book Review
 
Rodin’s Debutante is a surprising story, never going where you expect it to, and Just’s spare prose packs a solid emotional punch.” —Entertainment Weekly
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About the author

Ward Just's novels include Exiles in the Garden, Forgetfulness, the National Book Award finalist Echo House, A Dangerous Friend, winner of the Cooper Prize for fiction from the Society of American Historians, and An Unfinished Season, winner of the Chicago Tribune Heartland Award and a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize.
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Additional Information

Publisher
HMH
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Published on
Mar 1, 2011
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Pages
272
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ISBN
9780547504209
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / General
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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"The winter of the year my father carried a gun for his own protection was the coldest on record in Chicago." So begins Ward Just's An Unfinished Season, the winter in question a postwar moment of the 1950s when the modern world lay just over the horizon, a time of rabid anticommunism, worker unrest, and government corruption. Even the small-town family could not escape the nationwide suspicion and dread of "the enemy within." In rural Quarterday, on the margins of Chicago's North Shore, nineteen-year-old Wilson Ravan watches as his father's life unravels. Teddy Ravan -- gruff, unapproachable, secure in his knowledge of the world -- is confronting a strike and even death threats from union members who work at his printing business. Wilson, in the summer before college, finds himself straddling three worlds when he takes a job at a newspaper: the newsroom where working-class reporters find class struggle at the heart of every issue, the glittering North Shore debutante parties where he spends his nights, and the growing cold war between his parents at home. These worlds collide when he falls in love with the headstrong daughter of a renowned psychiatrist with a frightful past in World War II. Tragedy strikes her family, and the revelation of secrets calls into question everything Wilson once believed.
From a distinguished chronicler of American social history and the political world, An Unfinished Season is a brilliant exploration of culture, politics, and the individual conscience.
WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE
From the highly acclaimed, multiple award-winning Anthony Doerr, the beautiful, stunningly ambitious instant New York Times bestseller about a blind French girl and a German boy whose paths collide in occupied France as both try to survive the devastation of World War II.

Marie-Laure lives with her father in Paris near the Museum of Natural History, where he works as the master of its thousands of locks. When she is six, Marie-Laure goes blind and her father builds a perfect miniature of their neighborhood so she can memorize it by touch and navigate her way home. When she is twelve, the Nazis occupy Paris and father and daughter flee to the walled citadel of Saint-Malo, where Marie-Laure’s reclusive great-uncle lives in a tall house by the sea. With them they carry what might be the museum’s most valuable and dangerous jewel.

In a mining town in Germany, the orphan Werner grows up with his younger sister, enchanted by a crude radio they find. Werner becomes an expert at building and fixing these crucial new instruments, a talent that wins him a place at a brutal academy for Hitler Youth, then a special assignment to track the resistance. More and more aware of the human cost of his intelligence, Werner travels through the heart of the war and, finally, into Saint-Malo, where his story and Marie-Laure’s converge.

Doerr’s “stunning sense of physical detail and gorgeous metaphors” (San Francisco Chronicle) are dazzling. Deftly interweaving the lives of Marie-Laure and Werner, he illuminates the ways, against all odds, people try to be good to one another. Ten years in the writing, a National Book Award finalist, All the Light We Cannot See is a magnificent, deeply moving novel from a writer “whose sentences never fail to thrill” (Los Angeles Times).
Well-meaning American civilians make an attempt at nation-building during the Vietnam War, in this “powerful” novel by a National Book Award finalist (Newsweek).

Named one of the Best Books of the Year by Time and the Los Angeles Times
 
In this “extraordinary,” beautifully constructed large-canvas novel of Saigon in 1965, Ward Just takes a penetrating look into America’s role in the world (The New York Times).
 
Sydney Parade, a political scientist, has left his home and family in an effort to become part of something larger than himself, a foreign aid operation in the South Vietnamese capital. Even before he arrives, he encounters French and Americans who reveal to him the unsettling depths of a conflict he thought he understood—and in Saigon, the Vietnamese add yet another dimension. Before long, the rampant missteps and misplaced ideals trap Parade and others in a moral crossfire.
 
“Emotionally wrenching and always beautifully observant,” this is a story of conscience and its consequences among those for whom Vietnam was neither the right fight nor the wrong fight but the only fight (Entertainment Weekly). The exotic tropical surroundings, coarsening and corrupting effects of a colonial regime, and visionary delusions of the American democratizers all play their part. “A literary triumph that transcends its war story” and a New York Times Notable Book, A Dangerous Friend can be justly compared to Joseph Conrad’s Nostromo or Graham Greene’s The Quiet American—a thrilling narrative roiling with intrigue, mayhem, and betrayal (San Francisco Chronicle).
 
“Makes you want to run screaming into the street to protest retrospectively the war he has so movingly recreated.” —The New York Times
This family saga from a National Book Award finalist is a “brilliantly orchestrated tale of several generations of Washington, D.C., insiders” (Booklist).

In this epic and acutely observed novel, three generations of a family of Washington power brokers vie for influence over the fate of the nation. In the 1930s, Sen. Adolph Behl and his wife, Constance, buy historic mansion Echo House with the vision of transforming it into Washington’s greatest salon—an auspicious base camp from which the senator can launch his “final ascent,” and son Axel can prepare his first.
 
Across decades of secrets, betrayals, victories, and humiliations, the Behl family will fight to remain near the center, and behind the scenes, of American political power—from the New Deal to Watergate and beyond.
 
“A fascinating if ultimately painful fairy tale, complete with . . . a family curse . . . The decline of the Behls represents the decline of Washington from the bright dawn of the American century into the gathering shadows of an alien new millennium.” —The Washington Post
 
“Puts the standard run-of-the-mill Washington novel to shame . . . It is Mr. Just’s intimate portrait of the city that makes his book so convincing.” —TheNew York Times
 
“Will be read in a century’s time by anyone seeking to understand how we lived.” —Detroit Free Press
 
“[Ward’s] stories put him in the category reserved for writers who work far beyond the fashions of the times. . . . Masterpieces of balance, focus, and hidden order.” —Chicago Tribune
 
“He has earned a place on the shelf just below Edith Wharton and Henry James.” —Newsweek
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