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Did You Ever Have a Family

By Bill Clegg

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Format: Hardcover, 304 pages
Published In: United States, 01 September 2015
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER - LONGLISTED FOR THE NATIONAL BOOK AWARD, MAN BOOKER PRIZE, PEN/ROBERT W. BINGHAM PRIZE, AND ANDREW CARNEGIE MEDAL FOR EXCELLENCE - AN ALA NOTABLE BOOK - NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY Amazon - Library Journal - Booklist - NPR - Kirkus Reviews - Guardian - St. Louis Post-Dispatch - Google Play - Kobo - Literary Hub - Powell's - Indie Next List Hailed as "masterly" by The New York Times Book Review, "a brilliantly constructed debut set in the aftermath of catastrophic loss" (2015 Man Booker Prize Judges). The stunning debut novel from bestselling author Bill Clegg is a magnificently powerful story about a circle of people who find solace in the least likely of places as they cope with a horrific tragedy. On the eve of her daughter's wedding, June Reid's life is completely devastated when a shocking disaster takes the lives of her daughter, her daughter's fiance, her ex-husband, and her boyfriend, Luke--her entire family, all gone in a moment. And June is the only survivor. Alone and directionless, June drives across the country, away from her small Connecticut town. In her wake, a community emerges, weaving a beautiful and surprising web of connections through shared heartbreak. From the couple running a motel on the Pacific Ocean where June eventually settles into a quiet half-life, to the wedding's caterer whose bill has been forgotten, to Luke's mother, the shattered outcast of the town--everyone touched by the tragedy is changed as truths about their near and far histories finally come to light. Elegant and heartrending, and one of the most accomplished fiction debuts of the year, Did You Ever Have a Family is an absorbing, unforgettable tale that reveals humanity at its best through forgiveness and hope. At its core is a celebration of family--the ones we are born with and the ones we create.

Reviews

"Like the question it poses, Did You Ever Have a Family is brutally direct yet it's got an enormous symbolic power. You hold in your hands a great book of kindness--every restrained, exquisite sentence comes loaded for bear. It's been a lot of years since a novel has so moved me. Number Bill Clegg among that endangered species: major American writer."--Darin Strauss, author of CHANG & ENG "Mesmerizing...reading it is like letting the needle down on a Nick Drake album. [Clegg] tells his story in short, atmospheric paragraphs, each separated by white space, each its own strobe-lighted snapshot of decadent poetic memory...."Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man "is the lightly narcotized sensorium of Mr. Clegg's prose."--Dwight Garner "The New York Times " "Bill Clegg... has written a streamlined, hair-raising, high-torque memoir...Even though we know how the story must end, it's hard to believe Clegg will survive the ordeal he describes in such horrific detail."--Jay McInerney "Vanity Fair " "You won't be able to stop reading until it's all gone - and you will crave more...what makes Clegg's book especially riveting is the remarkable speed of his vertiginous fall from grace...."Portrait "is a spare, elegant book, one that shows admirable restraint in the face of extreme, even pathological behavior ("A Million Little Pieces" this is not.) Clegg may not have been able to control his demons, but he is utterly in charge of this material, with a voice that is knowing and self-deprecating in exactly the right measure."--Jonathan Van Meter "Vogue " "A brilliantly constructed debut set in the aftermath of catastrophic loss."--2015 Man Booker Prize Judges (Longlist Finalist) "I marveled my way through "Did You Ever Have a Family, " at not just the masterful writing and storytelling, but at the emotional authenticities of every persuasion. It's a wondrous thing when a writer gets things this right, this absorbing, and this beautiful. Bravo, Bill Clegg, and thank you."--Bestselling author Elinor Lipman "Full of small-town secrets and whispers, Bill Clegg has woven a richly textured tale of loss and healing. This is a deeply optimistic book about the power of human sympathy to pull us from the wreckage of our fate."--Man Booker Prize-winning novelist Anne Enright "The force, range, and scope of Bill Clegg's "Did You Ever Have a Family" will grab you with its opening lines, and won't let go until its final one. I can't recall another novel that so effortlessly weds a nuanced, lyrical voice to an unflinching vision of just how badly things can go for people. I read it deep into the night, all the way through, telling myself it was getting late, I could finish the book in the morning. I finished it that night, however, slept a few hours, and then, in the morning, started reading it again."--Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Cunningham A brilliantly constructed debut set in the aftermath of catastrophic loss. --2015 Man Booker Prize Judges (Longlist Finalist)" "The force, range, and scope of Bill Clegg s "Did You Ever Have a Family" will grab you with its opening lines, and won t let go until its final one. I can t recall another novel that so effortlessly weds a nuanced, lyrical voice to an unflinching vision of just how badly things can go for people. I read it deep into the night, all the way through, telling myself it was getting late, I could finish the book in the morning. I finished it that night, however, slept a few hours, and then, in the morning, started reading it again."--Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Cunningham" "Like the question it poses, "Did You Ever Have a Family" is brutally direct yet it's got an enormous symbolic power. You hold in your hands a great book of kindness every restrained, exquisite sentence comes loaded for bear. It's been a lot of years since a novel has so moved me. Number Bill Clegg among that endangered species: major American writer."--National Book Critics Circle Award winning author Darin Strauss" "Like the question it poses, Did You Ever Have a Family is brutally direct yet it's got an enormous symbolic power. You hold in your hands a great book of kindness--every restrained, exquisite sentence comes loaded for bear. It's been a lot of years since a novel has so moved me. Number Bill Clegg among that endangered species: major American writer."--National Book Critics Circle Award-winning author Darin Strauss "The force, range, and scope of Bill Clegg's Did You Ever Have a Family will grab you with its opening lines, and won't let go until its final one. I can't recall another novel that so effortlessly weds a nuanced, lyrical voice to an unflinching vision of just how badly things can go for people. I read it deep into the night, all the way through, telling myself it was getting late, I could finish the book in the morning. I finished it that night, however, slept a few hours, and then, in the morning, started reading it again."--Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Cunningham "The force, range, and scope of Bill Clegg s Did You Ever Have a Family will grab you with its opening lines, and won t let go until its final one. I can t recall another novel that so effortlessly weds a nuanced, lyrical voice to an unflinching vision of just how badly things can go for people. I read it deep into the night, all the way through, telling myself it was getting late, I could finish the book in the morning. I finished it that night, however, slept a few hours, and then, in the morning, started reading it again."--Pulitzer Prize-winning author Michael Cunningham" "I marveled my way through Did You Ever Have a Family, at not just the masterful writing and storytelling, but at the emotional authenticities of every persuasion. It's a wondrous thing when a writer gets things this right, this absorbing, and this beautiful. Bravo, Bill Clegg, and thank you."--Bestselling author Elinor Lipman PRAISE FOR "DID YOU EVER HAVE A FAMILY" "A brilliantly constructed debut set in the aftermath of catastrophic loss."--2015 Man Booker Prize Judges (Longlist Finalist) PRAISE FOR "DID YOU EVER HAVE A FAMILY" "I marveled my way through "Did You Ever Have a Family, " at not just the masterful writing and storytelling, but at the emotional authenticities of every persuasion. It's a wondrous thing when a writer gets things this right, this absorbing, and this beautiful. Bravo, Bill Clegg, and thank you."--Elinor Lipman, author of THE VIEW FROM PENTHOUSE B PRAISE FOR "PORTRAIT OF AN ADDICT AS A YOUNG MAN" "Bill Clegg's "Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man" stands up to Frederick Exley's great memoir of alcoholism, A Fan's Notes . . . . But really, forget comparisons. Read the book."--Michael Cunningham, author of THE HOURS

EAN: 9781476798172
ISBN: 1476798176
Publisher: Gallery/Scout Press
Dimensions: 21.59 x 14.48 x 3.05 centimeters (0.45 kg)
Age Range: 15+ years
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