Here is that rarest and most satisfying of books: a grown-up love story. Harry and Catherine have been falling in and out of love for many years. She is divorced, determinedly raising two sons, and running a small gallery in upstate New York. He is an ex-newspaperman, a wistful drifter, now assistant to a New York senator. After a long separation, Harry is assigned to find out whether a new shopping mall in Catherine's neighborhood will desecrate an historic black cemetery. Catherine is living with another man, a contractor for the mall who finds both his financial interests and his relationship with Catherine threatened by Harry. With penetrating acuity and generosity of spirit, one of our finest writers brings us what David Bradley calls "a book people will love and be proud of loving." "Unsuppressed emotion, painful honesty ...all of it in the most lively and supple language anyone is writing today."-Rosellen Brown
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(211mm x 140mm x 20mm)
WW Norton & Co
Publisher: WW Norton & Co
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US Kirkus Review »
Prolific Busch (War Babies, Absent Friends, etc.) here offers a love story set in Upstate New York and combined with some political intrigue. Though it sags melodramatically in places, it's his best fiction in some time: complex feelings are modulated while the political and romantic plots dovetail to good emotional effect. Harry is an ex-newspaperman, assistant now to a New York senator with presidential ambitions. He's assigned to see whether a shopping-mall parking lot will damage a pre-Civil War slave graveyard. Years ago, Harry was Catherine's lover and, in his 40s, he never married but carried the torch: "I live alone because of love." Catherine, meanwhile, runs a small gallery and sees Carter, who (too coincidentally) happens to be the contractor responsible for the controversial mall parking lot. The point of view shifts among these three, with minor digressions elsewhere. As Harry begins again to claim the attentions of Catherine and becomes her lover, the two men have it out - Harry to Carter: "You think a man like me can steal a woman like that?. . .Who ever told her what to do?" Carter to Catherine: "Were you waiting all this time for Harry?" The love story drives forward on the fuel of such implausible but affecting fidelity as Catherine and Harry make up their minds about each other; the political intrigue occasionally bogs down, but finally Harry visits archrival Carter to admit that the senator wants to make "a fuss over buried black people" in order "to be president." Carter, his big contract ruined, digs up the bones and reburies them with the help of Harry and Catherine and her son Bobby. "Need's need," Catherine says to Harry. A book about digging up old bones is seldom so literal, but here at least Busch has it both ways: a moving love story with social resonance. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - Frederick Busch
Frederick Busch (1941-2006) was the recipient of many honors, including an American Academy of Arts and Letters Fiction Award, a National Jewish Book Award, and the PEN/Malamud Award. The prolific author of sixteen novels and six collections of short stories, Busch is renowned for his writing's emotional nuance and minimal, plainspoken style. A native of Brooklyn, New York, he lived most of his life in upstate New York, where he worked for forty years as a professor at Colgate University.