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 will we really need once we ask for forgiveness?
as soon as a privileged and loving couple, the Armsteads have now reached a verge of collapse. Ben, a associate in a prestigious legislation company, has develop into unpredictable at paintings and withdrawn at home—a swap that weighs seriously on his spouse, Helen, and their preteen daughter, Sara.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 thing the Armsteads have outfitted jointly unravels, quickly and spectacularly.
ward off into the operating international, Helen reveals a task in public family and relocates with Sara from their domestic in upstate big apple to an house in big apple. There, Helen discovers she has a unprecedented present, imperative on the planet of snapshot regulate: she will persuade smug males to confess their error, spinning crises into moment probabilities. but redemption is extra simply granted in her expert existence than in her own one.
As she is faced with the most important case of her profession, the fallout from her marriage, and Sara’s more and more far away habit, Helen needs to face the bounds of responsibility and her personal potential for forgiveness.
Praise for A Thousand Pardons
“A Thousand Pardons is that infrequent factor: a real literary mystery. Eerily suspenseful and full of dramatic occasion, it additionally deals a trenchant, hilarious portrait of our collective eager for authenticity in those overmediated times.”—Jennifer Egan, Pulitzer Prize–winning writer of A stopover at from the Goon Squad
“A web page turner with out sacrificing a smidgen of mental perception. What a triumph.”—Kirkus studies (starred review)
“Dee is adept at meshing the complexities of marriage and kinfolk existence with the paradoxes of the zeitgeist. In his 6th meticulously lathed and magnetizing novel, he riffs at the perform of challenge administration [and] the absurdities of a society geared to speak in 1000 digital modes whereas these closest to one another can slightly make eye contact.”—Booklist
“[A] fast-moving, continually pleasing tale . . . a sensible, witty examine the rites of apology in modern America.”—Shelf expertise
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Extra resources for A Thousand Pardons: A Novel
In a typically picaresque movement, he goes from one master to another; nevertheless, far from remaining a mere servant, he learns to simulate the behavior and abilities of his masters to the point of taking their place, albeit temporarily. Thus he becomes, in quick succession: secretary to the notary lawyer Chanfaina, from whom he learns tricks of legalistic rhetoric (uthe art of kabbalistic penmanship [el arte de la cabala con la pluma]" p. 213); apprentice to a barber (he never learns to shave others or do tooth extractions properly, pp.
38—40). Full of himself, he is sent by his parents, as a graduation present, to spend some days at the rural estate of a friend of his father's. It is there, in the company of his schoolmate Januario that he receives his first major lesson in dissimulation. In fact, it is the aptly named Januario — his name alludes to the double-faced Roman deity of crossroads, as well as to his double-crossing nature — who causes the event, when he incites Periquillo to show off his spurious knowledge about comets before the dinner guests, like a Cantiflas avant la lettre or like a parrot (pp.
We must learn to read correctly, Lizardi states, in order not to be tricked by a hostile and devious world. Alarmingly, however, Lizardi also states that we will probably always be tricked anyway. The essence of his lesson is a feeling of vulnerability, an awareness of the perils facing the reader in a world that abounds in people with labia, with eloquence, who will repeat and distort words in order to take advantage of others. Like Rousseau, Lizardi seems to regard writing as a "dangerous supplement,"9 a double-faced activity that can help as well as hinder, improve as well as corrupt, and which must be kept in check by the application of an inner moral sense.