By Jonathan Dee
For readers of Jonathan Franzen and Richard Russo, Jonathan Dee’s novels are masterful works of literary fiction. during this sharply saw story of self-invention and public scandal, Dee increases a trenchant query: what can we actually need after we ask for forgiveness?
as soon as a privileged and loving couple, the Armsteads have now reached a verge of collapse. Ben, a associate in a prestigious legislations company, has develop into unpredictable at paintings and withdrawn at home—a swap that weighs seriously on his spouse, Helen, and their preteen daughter, Sara. Then, in a single afternoon, Ben’s recklessness takes an alarming flip, and every thing the Armsteads have equipped jointly unravels, quickly and spectacularly.
chase away into the operating international, Helen reveals a task in public relatives and relocates with Sara from their domestic in upstate manhattan to an condo in new york. There, Helen discovers she has a unprecedented reward, crucial on this planet of photograph regulate: she will be able to persuade smug males to confess their blunders, spinning crises into moment possibilities. but redemption is extra simply granted in her expert lifestyles than in her own one.
As she is faced with the most important case of her occupation, the fallout from her marriage, and Sara’s more and more far-off habit, Helen needs to face the boundaries of responsibility and her personal means for forgiveness.
Praise for A Thousand Pardons
“A Thousand Pardons is that infrequent factor: a real literary mystery. Eerily suspenseful and filled with dramatic occasion, it additionally deals a trenchant, hilarious portrait of our collective eager for authenticity in those overmediated times.”—Jennifer Egan, Pulitzer Prize–winning writer of A stopover at from the Goon Squad
“A web page turner with no sacrificing a smidgen of mental perception. What a triumph.”—Kirkus experiences (starred review)
“Dee is adept at meshing the complexities of marriage and family members existence with the paradoxes of the zeitgeist. In his 6th meticulously lathed and magnetizing novel, he riffs at the perform of challenge administration [and] the absurdities of a society geared to speak in one thousand digital modes whereas these closest to one another can slightly make eye contact.”—Booklist
“[A] fast-moving, continually unique tale . . . a wise, witty examine the rites of apology in modern America.”—Shelf wisdom
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Extra resources for A Thousand Pardons: A Novel
But the last echoes of that clamour have now all died away; she lives only in the few splendid phrases that Lamb scattered upon her tomb; her poems, her plays, her philosophies, her orations, her discourses — all those folios and quartos in which, she protested, her real life was shrined — moulder in the gloom of public libraries, or are decanted into tiny thimbles which hold six drops of their profusion. Even the curious student, inspired by the words of Lamb, quails before the mass of her mausoleum, peers in, looks about him, and hurries out again, shutting the door.
To share is our duty; to go down boldly and bring to light those hidden thoughts which are the most diseased; to conceal nothing; to pretend nothing; if we are ignorant to say so; if we love our friends to let them know it. “. . ” 40 There are people who, when they travel, wrap themselves up, “se défendans de la contagion d’un air incogneu” in silence and suspicion. When they dine they must have the same food they get at home. Every sight and custom is bad unless it resembles those of their own village.
She believes; at the same time she does not believe. Observe her extraordinary susceptibility to impressions, especially in youth. A rich man steals because his father kept him short of money as a boy. This wall one builds 41 not for oneself, but because one’s father loved building. In short, the soul is all laced about with nerves and sympathies which affect her every action, and yet, even now in 1580, no one has any clear knowledge — such cowards we are, such lovers of the smooth conventional ways — how she works or what she is except that of all things she is the most mysterious, and one’s self the greatest monster and miracle in the world.
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