Jon McGregor So Many Ways to Begin: A Novel

ISBN 13: 9781596914858

So Many Ways to Begin: A Novel

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9781596914858: So Many Ways to Begin: A Novel

Now in paperback for the first time, So Many Ways to Begin is a potent examination of family and memory, a look at what happens when life forces you to let go of the person you might have been. David Carter is an obsessive collector, and the curator of the local history museum. In addition to overseeing the community's archives, he has, since boyhood, diligently archived the items that tell his own life story: birth certificate, school report cards, movie and train tickets. But when a senile relative lets slip a long-buried family secret, David is forced to consider that his whole carefully cataloged life may be constructed around a lie. In fits and starts, his world begins to unravel.

Praise for So Many Ways to Begin:

"Jon McGregor might be the best chronicler I know of the way small accidents can set a life in motion, and the way what's said between people-or left unsaid-can change everything. This is a beautiful book, elegant and particular and heart wrenching. I loved it."-Maile Meloy, author of Both Ways Is the Only Way I Want It

"McGregor is a brilliant prose stylist, and here he excels at making ... the ordinary seem extraordinary."-Sunday Times (UK )

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About the Author:

Twice Booker-nominated Jon McGregor is the author of the critically acclaimed If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things, winner of the Betty Trask Prize and the Somerset Maugham Award, and, most recently, Even the Dogs. He was born in Bermuda in 1976, grew up in Norfolk, and now lives in Nottingham, England.

Review:

“Jon McGregor is a writer who will make a significant stamp on world literature. In fact, he already has.” ―Colum McCann, author of Let the Great World Spin

“[A] solemly lyrical novel...With grace and almost painful sensitivity, McGregor constructs a detailed character study that is also a meditation on the elusive nature of identity.” ―Boston Globe

“In this elegantly written novel, McGregor focuses on the interpersonal and the emotional, successfully dramatizing the impact of events on people's lives.” ―Library Journal

“The search for home and for connection lies at the center of this slow, cadenced novel, which invests one man's day-to-day life with remarkable dignity.” ―Booklist (starred)

“David Carter grows up happy in post-WWII Coventry, England, where he combs bomb sites for things to collect and dreams of one day running his own museum. He lands a job at a local museum and, at age 22, learns from a mentally ill family friend that he was adopted as an infant. Irate and bewildered, David struggles to comprehend "how such a lie had been incorporated into official history" as he begins his adult life. His marriage to Eleanor provides some direction, but the couple is often rudderless, and McGregor (If Nobody Speaks of Remarkable Things) charts with a calculated dreariness David's frustrated attempts to locate his birth mother, Eleanor's terrible depressions, their professional letdowns, a few moments of happiness and the way "it wasn't what they'd imagined, this life." Once retired, David is introduced to the Internet, which yields a promising lead in his quest to find his birth mother. Melancholy permeates every page; readers looking for an earnest downer can't go wrong.” ―Publishers Weekly

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McGregor, Jon
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