Townie takes place in Oldon, Massachusetts, a burgeoning New England village that has become the favored residence of the mega-rich, a town whose historic past has been preserved and polished until it gleams with the arrogant intensity of a Colonial theme park. Alan Lowe inhabits a different Oldon, however, a town that he loved as a boy for the “power and rightness of its countryside.” Now, in early middle age, he finds himself living on the margins of the changing town, in a camp deep within Oldon Woods, “inelegantly sheltered by a stale, army-surplus sheet, perforated here and there with pinholes and rudely draped into the equivalent of a teepee.” Then Alan’s seemingly rootless life converges with that of Arthur Worthy, a member of the recently-arrived elite, whose life “bristles with appointments, trips, activities, possessions, responsibilities, and business urgencies.” But Arthur lives on the margin, too, as alone and isolated in his mansion as Alan is in his teepee. They share, as they discover, an unexpected connection, a woman named Anna, “who must be understood as a catalytic force in both of our lives, the intoxicating girl who devolved into the equable woman whose existence served to define our own.” Alan abandons his camp in order to temporarily look after Arthur’s mansion and their lives soon become deeply intertwined in an adventure that is ostensibly a business deal but is, more essentially, a search for love and connection with place. Townie is a picaresque novel of the countryside, funny and skewering about our social and business pretensions, moving and true about our need for roots and authenticity.
Hardball takes leaders deep inside the world of hardball competition - a world where the players are zealously committed to winning and relentlessly driven to strengthen their competitive positions, creating a virtuous cycle that puts them far out of competitors' reach. Based on twenty-five years of experience advising and observing a range of companies, Stalk and Lachenauer reveal how hardball competitors achieve decisive victories - without bending the law and without compromising their obligations to customers and stakeholders. These companies often play rough, and they don't apologize for it. Yet they are also extraordinarily adept at the "soft" side of management - rallying talent and building culture through a laserlike focus on the few issues most critical to success. Using detailed and engaging stories from many industries, Hardball outlines seven classic hardball strategies: unleash massive and overwhelming force, exploit anomalies, threaten competitors' profit sanctuaries, take it and make it your own, entice competitors' into retreat, break industry compromises, and hardball M&A. The authors reveal who uses hardball strategies, under what circumstances each strategy is most effective, and how to orchestrate the attack.
"Dubus relives, absent self-pity or blame, a life shaped by bouts of violence and flurries of tenderness." —Vanity Fair After their parents divorced in the 1970s, Andre Dubus III and his three siblings grew up with their overworked mother in a depressed Massachusetts mill town saturated with drugs and everyday violence. Nearby, his father, an eminent author, taught on a college campus and took the kids out on Sundays. The clash between town and gown, between the hard drinking, drugging, and fighting of "townies" and the ambitions of students debating books and ideas, couldn’t have been more stark. In this unforgettable memoir, acclaimed novelist Dubus shows us how he escaped the cycle of violence and found empathy in channeling the stories of others—bridging, in the process, the rift between his father and himself.
THE WEALTHY MAN… Struggling single mother Kate Valera had spent most of her life with her nose pressed against the window, looking at how the other half lived. And then one day, she saw Jefferson Parish looking back at her. The wealthy widower was everything she'd always wanted…and known she couldn't have. Jeff touched something in Kate that had lain sleeping for so long, she wasn't sure it was still there. But he was used to a "certain kind of woman," Kate knew, and she—waitress uniform and all—was not exactly it. Was theirs only a summer romance—or would those autumn winds sweep them down the aisle?
Laura DiStefano has flunked out of the University of Massachusetts just as the counterculture reaches its peak in the 1970s, and is living back home with her parents and her sister. She can’t deny the embarrassment that she has failed and the fact that she’s now trapped in the blue-collar town she so hoped to escape. But Laura soon finds that her sister, a fierce survivor of a childhood attack who has rather foolishly gotten pregnant, needs her help, and she unexpectedly finds love with a local guy. Even though the school offers to reinstate her scholarship, leaving home again suddenly gets harder. She’s torn between dreams of a new countercultural life and the undertow of a dysfunctional family. As the conflicts in her life threaten to drag her under, Laura grows agoraphobic. How can she reconcile her divided loyalties and find her genuine life? “MY TOWNIE HEART is the captivating story of a young woman's search for a home among the ruins of her past and the promise of her future. A rich blend of love and longing, lust and violence, fear and hope. Beautifully crafted, MY TOWNIE HEART is a welcome debut.” - Robb Cadigan, author of PHOENIXVILLE RISING "MY TOWNIE HEART is a tender gem of a novel, a fitting entry into America's ‘coming of age’ literature, clean, honest prose. A great literary debut for Diana Sperrazza." - James Grady, author of LAST DAYS OF THE CONDOR
A gripping novel about coming of age in the most corybantic of places and times, Oneonta in the early 90s. No syrupy sentimentality here, this is a deep dark comedy about surviving the pitfalls of unrestrained bacchanalia, of staying sane while surrounded by madness, of discovering purpose in the confusion of aimless youth, and the ultimate triumph when purpose is finally realized and the first steps are taken on the road to controlled destiny… * * * FROM THE BACK COVER: Hank Gardner was an aspiring guitarist trapped in the boredom of his youth on Long Island in the late 1980s. While he had dreamed of escaping via the fame and fortune of rock & roll stardom, he realized that this was not going to actually happen and that he had better find an alternate escape route before he got stuck there for good. All seemed hopeless until he began hearing stories of a college in upstate New York that had been ranked the best party school in the country. Oneonta quickly became his beacon of salvation, and the acceptance letter to this school became what he thought would be his ticket to experience everything that life had to offer. When he got there, it was everything he imagined it would be—alcohol, drugs, sex, freedom—but he failed to consider what four years of unrestrained indulgence would do. A psychotic episode on some potent LSD during which he thinks he has died and is smoking marijuana with Jimi Hendrix and Bob Marley makes him realize what a mess his life had become. After recovering from this episode, Hank attempts to find direction via love: first with Maria Viola, a girl he went to high school with who had been in love with him since ninth grade; then with Virginia Duvall, the girl of his dreams who shows up out of nowhere at their dorm room but gets involved with one of his friends; and finally with Lucy Burns, a licentious alcoholic honors student whom he finds at the bottom of the barrel. Through the writings of his hero, Jack Kerouac, Hank is finally able to find the inspiration he needs to find a new road that will lead him out of town with an education he could have gotten in no other place.
“So good, so damn compulsively readable, that I can hardly believe it.” —Stephen King, Entertainment Weekly In his stunning follow-up to the #1 best-selling House of Sand and Fog, Andre Dubus draws us into the lives of three deeply flawed, driven people whose paths intersect on a September night in Florida. April, a stripper, has brought her daughter to work at the Puma Club for Men. There she encounters Bassam, a foreign client both remote and too personal, and free with his money. Meanwhile, another man, AJ, has been thrown out of the club, and he’s drunk and angry and lonely. From these explosive elements comes a relentless, raw, and page-turning narrative that seizes the reader by the throat with psychological tension, depth, and realism.
Andre Dubus III’s first novel in a decade is a masterpiece of thrilling tension and heartrending empathy. Few writers can enter their characters so completely or evoke their lives as viscerally as Andre Dubus III. In this deeply compelling new novel, a father, estranged for the worst of reasons, is driven to seek out the daughter he has not seen in decades. Daniel Ahearn lives a quiet, solitary existence in a seaside New England town. Forty years ago, following a shocking act of impulsive violence on his part, his daughter, Susan, was ripped from his arms by police. Now in her forties, Susan still suffers from the trauma of a night she doesn’t remember, as she struggles to feel settled, to love a man and create something that lasts. Lois, her maternal grandmother who raised her, tries to find peace in her antique shop in a quaint Florida town but cannot escape her own anger, bitterness, and fear. Cathartic, affirming, and steeped in the empathy and precise observations of character for which Dubus is celebrated, Gone So Long explores how the wounds of the past afflict the people we become, and probes the limits of recovery and absolution.
Winner of the 2016 International Dublin Literary Award "Gorgeously tender at its core…beautiful, heartstopping…Family Life really blazes." —Sonali Deraniyagala, New York Times Book Review Hailed as a "supreme storyteller" (Philadelphia Inquirer) for his "cunning, dismaying and beautifully conceived" fiction (New York Times), Akhil Sharma is possessed of a narrative voice "as hypnotic as those found in the pages of Dostoyevsky" (The Nation). In his highly anticipated second novel, Family Life, he delivers a story of astonishing intensity and emotional precision. We meet the Mishra family in Delhi in 1978, where eight-year-old Ajay and his older brother Birju play cricket in the streets, waiting for the day when their plane tickets will arrive and they and their mother can fly across the world and join their father in America. America to the Mishras is, indeed, everything they could have imagined and more: when automatic glass doors open before them, they feel that surely they must have been mistaken for somebody important. Pressing an elevator button and the elevator closing its doors and rising, they have a feeling of power at the fact that the elevator is obeying them. Life is extraordinary until tragedy strikes, leaving one brother severely brain-damaged and the other lost and virtually orphaned in a strange land. Ajay, the family’s younger son, prays to a God he envisions as Superman, longing to find his place amid the ruins of his family’s new life. Heart-wrenching and darkly funny, Family Life is a universal story of a boy torn between duty and his own survival.