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When assistant city manager Wyatt Palmer enters into a shady business deal he faces consequences that have a profound impact on him and those around him, including brother Cyril, lover Alyse, and mother Jeanne
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Charles Baxter lives in Minneapolis and teaches at the University of Minnesota.From Library Journal:
In this tale of normalcy mixed with eccentricity and lunacy, Wyatt Palmer's father spends his weekends in the family basement, building incomprehensible model houses and filling a drawer with philosophical notes. After he dies, Wyatt's mother goes off the deep end, making up words and talking to herself. Wyatt is eventually raised by his Aunt Ellen, who is writing a new bible. Although Wyatt has artistic talent, after college he marries and cultivates a super-normal life in his Midwestern hometown, working as an assistant city manager. The outside world invades Wyatt's "normal" life when a schoolmate builds a factory that emits toxic fumes inside its own building, which brings about the death of Wyatt's jailbird cousin, Cyril. In the aftermath, Wyatt flees to New York City, where his mother feels at home. Baxter is at his best in his short stories (e.g., A Relative Stranger , LJ 8/87); here, he leaves the reader with less than satisfying resolutions. But his odd characters, set in familiar American landscapes and rendered in a fine, controlled style, remain vivid. Recommended for public libraries.
- Harold Augenbraum, Mercantile Lib., New York
Copyright 1992 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Book Description W W Norton, 1993. Hardcover. Condition: New. Dust Jacket Condition: New. First Edition; First Printing. Book and DJ New. No names or ANY markings. DJ not price clipped ($21.95) ; 339 pages. Seller Inventory # 38366
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