A Field Guide to the North American Family: An Illustrated Novella (Paperback)

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Description


The very first work of fiction by the best-selling, acclaimed author of City on Fire--his piercingly beautiful treasure box of a novella about two families in the suburbs, now in a newly designed full-color edition

For years, the Hungates and the Harrisons have coexisted peacefully in the same Long Island neighborhood, enjoying the pleasures and weathering the pitfalls of their suburban habitat. But when the patriarch of one family dies unexpectedly, the survivors face a stark imperative: adapt or face extinction. In sixty-three interlinked vignettes and striking accompanying photographs, the novella cuts multiple paths--which can be reconstructed in any order--through the lives of its richly imagined characters. Part art object, part Choose Your Own Adventure, A Field Guide to the North American Family is an innovative and deeply personal look at the ties that bind, as well as a poignant meditation on connection in a fragmented world.

About the Author


GARTH RISK HALLBERG's first novel, City on Fire, was a New York Times and international best seller, has been translated into seventeen languages, and was named one of the best books of 2015 by The Washington Post, Los Angeles Times, San Francisco Chronicle, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, and Vogue. His short stories have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Glimmer Train, and Best New American Voices 2008, and he has written critical essays for The New York Times Book Review, The Guardian, The Millions, and Slate. A two-time finalist for the National Book Critics Circle's Nona Balakian Citation for Excellence in Reviewing, he lives in New York with his wife and children.

Praise For…


“Hallberg inhabits each of his characters completely, and there is some gorgeous image or turn of phrase on almost every page. Especially impressive are the voices of the kids in the story, which feel natural and true . . . A pleasure to read.” —New York Times Book Review

“Evocative of masters of American suburbia such as Updike, Cheever, Salter, and Richard Yates . . . Conjuring a dreamily filmic spell, with shades of American Beauty and The Ice Storm, this is a work that can be approached (and rediscovered) a number of ways, all equally rewarding. It’s an ideal coffee table or bedside companion, to be dipped into for flashes of pleasure.” The Independent (UK)
 
“Provocative . . . There’s no denying the author’s way with words . . . There’s virtuosity at work.” Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

"In this stunningly beautiful, cross-referenced exploration of suburban intimacy, the story of two struggling families emerges gradually, achingly—and never the same way twice. Hallberg's prose is lacquered and precise, and the kaleidoscope of collected images forms a shifting, luminous backdrop. A perfect marriage between sculptured form and wondrous content. Read it. Now." —Reif Larsen, author of I Am Radar
 
“Hallberg has a fine novelist’s grace and sensitivity.” Kirkus Reviews
 
"A Field Guide to the North American Family reads like magic, like a private book of spells meant to keep away all the things that have already happened; each word and image matters. It's a gorgeous labyrinth of a book." —Rivka Galchen, author of Atmospheric Disturbances


Product Details
ISBN: 9781101874950
ISBN-10: 1101874953
Publisher: Knopf
Publication Date: October 31st, 2017
Pages: 144
Language: English

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