The Coast of Akron

A Novel

Adrienne Miller

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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"At last, The Coast of Akron! Adrienne Miller is one of the wittiest and most humane writers we have, bringing to mind at once Dorothy Parker, Mary McCarthy, and M.F.K. Fisher." -Dave Eggers

Adrienne Miller, in her dazzlingly ambitious and hilarious first novel, introduces us to the unforgettable Haven family of Akron, Ohio. This is not your typical Midwestern family, and Lowell Haven is a most unusual patriarch. He's a seducer, a wannabe aristocrat, a liar. Jenny, his former wife, was a brilliant artist, but is today a broken woman with a secret.

In the thirty years since Lowell and Jenny met, Lowell has become a world-famous artist, known for portraits of his favorite subject-himself. But five years ago, Lowell mysteriously stopped painting and the world now demands to know: Why has Lowell Haven abandoned his art? The answer is Merit, Lowell and Jenny's daughter, who is running as fast as she can from her family. Fergus, Lowell's partner, Jenny's ex-best friend, and drama queen extraordinaire, dreams of luring Merit home: the sixty-five-room faux-Tudor mansion where he lives with Lowell. A lavish party for the Midwestern glitterati is the perfect excuse. But his delusions of grandeur loom over the gathering, and his decision to include a certain guest invites disaster.

Stretching from mid-seventies London to the present-day Midwest, The Coast of Akron is a sharply funny and deeply heartbreaking story about the all-too-human urge to own what is unownable.

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Book Excerpts

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  The Coast of Akron
1Wyatt’s glasses were crooked again. Merit rinsed her hands in the kitchen sink, shook them, and took three long, resolute steps toward him. She removed his glasses. Wyatt had just come in from mowing the lawn. He smiled. She smiled. Merit and Wyatt had been married for five years.Merit held the glasses up to the ceiling light. Somehow, every pair went immediately lopsided on Wyatt. These years of repositioning (on three different pairs of glasses) had led Merit to think—and she’d voiced this suspicion more than once, alas—that maybe his ears

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Reviews

Praise for The Coast of Akron

"Dare I say it--this book has got some real muscle to it. Miller goes to the core of a wonderfully eclectic American family. At the same time she manages to serve up a swinging London, to dissect the worlds of journalism and art, and to provoke the reader with, of all things, humor. Tender, intelligent, audacious, and packing a serious wallop, The Coast of Akron will be around a long, long time." --Colum McCann, author of Dancer

"At last, The Coast of Akron! Adrienne Miller is one of the wittiest and most humane writers we have, bringing to mind at once Dorothy Parker, Mary McCarthy, and M.F.K. Fisher." --Dave Eggers, author of A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius

"The Coast of Akron is a novel of many delights: it's audacious and provocative, it's arousing (cf. pages 194-196, etc.) and it's hilarious. Adrienne Miller's sharply drawn characters are some very peculiar people, alternately repellant and attractive--people who are, in fact, just like you." --Ken Kalfus

"What an incredible carnival of a novel! I can't do justice to the ingenuities of Adrienne Miller's book; it's amazing in a thousand and one different ways. Blazingly vivid, shocking, hilarious, moving, irresistibly absorbing from first page to last, with an unforgettable family at its center, The Coast of Akron is a triumph." --Joanna Scott

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About the Author

Adrienne Miller

Adrienne Miller is the literary editor at Esquire, which won the 2004 National Magazine Award for Fiction. She was born in Columbus, Ohio, and grew up around Akron. She now lives in New York City. This is her first novel.

Adrienne Miller

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Available Formats and Book Details

The Coast of Akron
A Novel
Adrienne Miller

e-Book Agency

e-Book Agency
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
May 2006
e-Book Agency
ISBN: 9781429932158
ISBN10: 1429932155
400 pages
$7.99

Trade Paperback

Trade Paperback
Picador
May 2006
Trade Paperback
ISBN: 9780312425135
ISBN10: 0312425139
5 1/2 x 8 1/4 inches, 400 pages
$20.00
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Farrar, Straus and Giroux

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