The Coast of Akron
Author: Adrienne Miller
"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.
Farrar, Straus and Giroux