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Century's Son

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A moving portrait of a family united and divided by a tragic loss, a subtle meditation on moral responsibility, and a slyly funny comedy of errors, Centurys Son is a heartbreaking, ultimately exhilarating novel by one of Americas finest writers. Tom Perrotta, author of Election The texture of this replete portrayal of Middle America and its discontents suggests an inspired collaboration between Anne Tyler and John Cheever. Only a handful of Boswells contemporaries have written anything better than Centurys Son. Kirkus Reviews From Robert Boswell, one of Americas most acclaimed and gifted writers, the story of a Midwestern family riven and bound together by tragedy, love, and circumstance. In the small college town of Hayden, Illinois, Morgan and Zhenya have settled into a loveless, stagnant marriage. He is a former labor organizer who now works as a garbage collector, and she is a political science professor and the daughter of a prominent Russian migr. The suicide of their son, Philip, some ten years before has left the pair emotionally dead, lacking even the courage or initiative to separate from each other. Their surviving child, Emma, has become a teenage mother and refuses to reveal the identity of her childs father. Into this sullen mix marches the Centurys Son, Peter Ivanovich Kamenev, Zhenyas exasperating father. A Russian writer and an impresario of history, Peter Ivanovich claims to have had the opportunity to assassinate Joseph Stalin, to have marched with Martin Luther King Jr. in the American South, and to have visited a strip club with Arkansas governor Bill Clinton. Unfortunately, Zhenya has discovered several inconsistencies in her fathers invented history, and she also discovers the limits of her patience with his neediness and self-dramatization. Peters arrival, though it tears at the family, also re-juvenates it. He forces Morgan and Zhenya to confront themselves, their children alive and dead, and their lives past, present, and future, as lived, as planned, and as imagined. He embraces Emma and her child; he recognizes and exploits all of the small hypocrisies and foibles of daily life. His deceitful, smooth-talking vibrancy invigorates and infuriates everybody around him. Intricate, beautifully observed, and delicately wrought, Centurys Son confirms Robert Boswells position as a peerless chronicler of domestic life.
Product Details

Author: Robert Boswell

Language: English

Edition: (Edition: 1st)

Binding: Hardcover

Publisher: Knopf

Release Date: 2002-04-09

Pages: 320

ISBN: 0375412379

ISBN13: 9780375412370