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Century's Son A Novel

Robert Boswell

Picador

0312422318

9780312422318

Trade Paperback

320 Pages

$19.00

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A New York Times Notable Book

A piercing and visionary novel that explores the surprising diverse lives of one Midwestern American family. In the years following the suicide of their teenage son, husband and wife Morgan and Zhenya have settled into a staid and loveless marriage. Morgan is a one-time union leader who is now happy as a simple garbageman; Zhenya is a professor at the local state university whose balance is about to be offset by the arrival of her famous father, a Russian political dissident-cum-American cultural critic who, among other things, claims to have had the chance to murder Stalin and now celebrates his hundredth birthday.

REVIEWS

Praise for Century's Son

"A capacious, complex novel. There's so much going on you can't miss a line."—Chicago Tribune

"[Century's Son] is utterly compelling . . . Perhaps the loveliest surprise of this terrific novel is how easily Boswell moves from the absurd to the tragic without comment, excuse, or explanation."—The Washington Post Book World

"Unexpectedly deep and effective . . . Against an increasingly interconnected world, Boswell sets his vision of one family's painful, incomplete, unorthodox but still stirring return to life as an irremediably private matter."—The New York Times Book Review

"Robert Boswell is an author preoccupied with the questions of how to be good and how to have integrity, and how to sort them out when they seem mutually exclusive. The result is a novel that . . . is stunning. Cross Anne Taylor with Michael Chabon and you'd get a cast something like the one Boswell has bred."—Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

"A moving portrait of a family both torn apart and united by grief."—The New Yorker

"There is no novelist in America now who writes about emotional secrets and the hoarding of private passions with more feeling and insight than Robert Boswell. He writes with a particularly acute generosity of spirit about all his characters, high and low, human and animal; if the word 'humane' means anything, in an age of terror, we will have to learn, or re-learn, its definition from books like this."—Charles Baxter, author of The Feast of Love

"If Oprah hadn't curtailed her book club, she might consider this novel . . . It's a humane, plain-spoken, and insightful novel about human foibles and, ultimately, a certain kind of redemption."—The Boston Globe

"Terrific . . . Century's Son is a novel about the secret emotional lives of families, what goes unspoken and why. Rather than invoking this theme dramatically, Boswell keeps the focus on his characters' interior lives, which he limns with elegant precision."—St. Louis Post-Dispatch

"A wonderfully generous story about the singular, though bedeviling, matters of the heart."—The Charlotte Observer

"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, Century's Son is a heartbreaking, ultimately exhilarating novel by one of America's finest writers."—Tom Perrotta, author of Election

"A luminous novel . . . The texture of this portrayal of Middle America and its discontents suggests an inspired collaboration between Anne Tyler and John Cheever. . . . Only a handful of Boswell's contemporaries have written anything better."—Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Reviews from Goodreads

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BOOK EXCERPTS

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Robert Boswell is the author of two story collections and five novels, including Mystery Ride and Crooked Hearts. He lives with his wife, the writer Antonya Nelson, and their two children, in Houston, Texas.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Robert Boswell

  • Robert Boswell is the author of two story collections and five novels, including Mystery Ride and Crooked Hearts. He lives with his wife, the writer Antonya Nelson, and their two children, in Houston, Texas.
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