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 Ben, a accomplice in a prestigious legislation company, has develop into unpredictable at paintings and withdrawn at home—a switch that weighs seriously on his spouse, Helen, and their preteen daughter, Sara.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 little thing the Armsteads have equipped jointly unravels, rapidly and spectacularly.
ward off into the operating international, Helen unearths a role in public family members and relocates with Sara from their domestic in upstate manhattan to an condominium in long island. There, Helen discovers she has a unprecedented reward, quintessential on the planet of photo regulate: she will persuade boastful males to confess their error, spinning crises into moment percentages. but redemption is extra simply granted in her specialist 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 potential for forgiveness.
Advance compliment for A Thousand Pardons
“That infrequent factor: a real literary mystery, with a trenchant, hilarious portrait of our collective eager for authenticity.”—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 (starred evaluate)
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Extra resources for A Thousand Pardons: A Novel
He kept his fingers tightly interlocked, he was conscious of the ring pressing into his skin and his tendons, he was conscious of the rocky bones of his hands, he was conscious of his blood and the memory-deeps of his body, the shadowy deeps of the far-off past united to the immediate present, to the illumination of the present immediacy and the present clarity, and he called to mind his boyhood in Andes, he called to mind the house, the stables, the granaries, the trees, he called to mind the clear eyes in that sunburnt face always on the point of laughter, the face of his mother, she of the dark curls,—oh, she was called Maja, and no name was more summerlike, none existed which could have suited her better—, he called to mind how she busied herself in the house and warmed it with her joyous labor, serene in her tireless activity even when, being constantly called for some little service by grandfather who sat in the atrium, she had to keep on hushing him and his furious blood-curdling outcries, the appeasement-craving outcries that never failed to start up at any opportunity, but especially when prices of live-stock and grain were in question and he, the white-haired Magus Polla, half-generous, half-niggardly, believed himself cheated by the tradesmen, whether buying or selling; oh how intense the memory of those outcries, how soothing the memory of the quietude that his mother restored to the house with an almost mischievous joy; and he recalled his father, enabled to become a proper farmer only through his marriage, whose former profession of potter the son had deemed inferior, although it had been most pleasant to hear the nightly tales of the work on the bellied wine-jars and nobly turned oil jugs which his father had formed from clay, tales of the shaping thumb, of the spatula and the buzzing potter’s disk, of the glazer’s art, charming tales interrupted by many a potter’s song.
Why had he renounced it? Willingly? No! It had been like a command of the irrefutable life-forces, those irrefutable forces of fate which never vanished completely, which though they might dive at times into the subterranean, the invisible, the inaudible, were nonetheless omnipresent as the inscrutable threat of powers which man could never avoid, to which he must always submit; it was fate. He had allowed himself to be driven by fate and now fate drove on to the end. Had this not always been the form of his life, had he ever lived otherwise?
Oh hand, tingling, touching, fondling, embracing, oh finger and finger-tip, rough and gentle and soft, living flesh, the outermost surface of the soul’s darkness opened up in the lifted hands! He had always been aware of this strange almost volcanic pulsation in his hands, always the intimation of the strange separate life of his hands had accompanied him, an intimation that once and for all had been forbidden to overstep the threshold into actual knowledge, as if an obscure danger lurked in such knowledge, and when now, as was his habit, he turned the seal ring, the one finely-wrought and even a little unmasculine in its delicate workmanship, which he wore on a finger of his right hand, it was as if by so doing he could avert that obscure danger, as if he could appease the hands’ longing, as if by this act he could bring them to a certain self-control, abating their fear, the longing fear of peasant hands that never again might grasp the plough or scatter the seed and therefore had learned to grasp the intangible, the foreboding fear of hands to whose will-to-form, robbed of the earth, nothing remained but a life of their own in the incomprehensible universe, threatened and threatening, reaching so deeply into nothingness and so gripped by its perils that the dread foreboding, lifted to a certain extent above itself, was transmuted into a mighty endeavor, an endeavor to hold fast to the unity of human existence, to preserve the integrity of human desire in a way that would protect it from disintegrating into manifold existences, full of small desires and small in desire; for insufficient was the desire of hands, insufficient the desire of eyes, insufficient the desire of hearing, sufficient alone was the desire of heart and mind communing together, the yearning completion of the infinity within and without, beholding, hearkening, comprehending, breathing in the unity of the doubled breath, the unity of the universe; for by unity alone might one overcome the lowering hopeless blindness of fearful isolation, in unity alone occurred the twofold development from the roots of understanding, and this he divined, this he had always divined—, oh the yearning of one who was and always must be only a lodger, oh yearning of man—, this had been his prescient-listening, his prescient-breathing, his prescient-thinking, drawn by reciprocal listening, breathing, thinking, into the flowing light of the universe, into the never-ending approach to the endlessness of the universe, unattainable the pearly shimmer of its abysmal depths, unattainable even its outermost edge, so that the longing desirous hand dares not even touch it.