The Splendid Things We Planned: A Family Portrait

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9780393239577: The Splendid Things We Planned: A Family Portrait
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A National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist 'Autobiography'

The renowned biographer’s unforgettable portrait of a family in ruins―his own.

Meet the Baileys: Burck, a prosperous lawyer once voted the American Legion’s “Citizen of the Year” in his tiny hometown of Vinita, Oklahoma; his wife Marlies, who longs to recapture her festive life in Greenwich Village as a pretty young German immigrant, fresh off the boat; their addled son Scott, who repeatedly crashes the family Porsche; and Blake, the younger son, trying to find a way through the storm. “You’re gonna be just like me,” a drunken Scott taunts him. “You’re gonna be worse.”

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, Blake Bailey has been hailed as “addictively readable” (New York Times) and praised for his ability to capture lives “compellingly and in harrowing detail” (Time). The Splendid Things We Planned is his darkly funny account of growing up in the shadow of an erratic and increasingly dangerous brother, an exhilarating and sometimes harrowing story that culminates in one unforgettable Christmas.

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About the Author:

Blake Bailey is the author of biographies of John Cheever, Richard Yates, and Charles Jackson, and he is at work on the authorized biography of Philip Roth. He is the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and an Award in Literature from the American Academy of Arts and Letters; the winner of a National Book Critics Circle Award and the Francis Parkman Prize; and a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. He lives in Virginia, where he is the Mina Hohenberg Darden Professor of Creative Writing at Old Dominion University.

Review:

“Enthralling... Achingly honest... A fearless, deeply felt and often frightening book...[The Splendid Things We Planned] arrives at a certain undeniable truth about how we are capable of feeling love for people we would never choose to be around.”
- Dave Itzkoff, New York Times Book Review

“[A] vivid, tender book [written with] humor and frankness...[and] a novelist's flair... A sleek, dramatic, authentically lurid story fueled by a candid fraternal rivalry.”
- Janet Maslin, New York Times

“Bailey maintains an almost impossible balance between stringent assessment...and a kind of unflappable empathy... The book is as clear-eyed and heartbreaking as any of his acclaimed biographies...yet every bit as compelling.”
- Kate Tuttle, Boston Globe

“Vibrantly evocative and car-crash engrossing.”
- Clark Collis, Entertainment Weekly

“Manages to do justice to the tedium of chronic dysfunction without becoming tedious itself...Compelling because of Bailey's emotional acuity as well as his wit, which emerges as an adaptive coping mechanism―a way to survive despair by streaking it with light.”
- Leslie Jamison, San Francisco Chronicle

“Captivating... Bailey maintains a lacerating tone, and examines with the coolness of a detective the staggering things that we can do to the people we love.”
- The New Yorker

“A haunting portrait of more than one tortured soul and a heartfelt probing of the limits of brotherly love.”
- Brendan Driscoll, Booklist (starred)

“One of the most surprising and riveting memoirs of the season.”
- Trisha Ping, BookPage

“Very entertaining [and] immensely enjoyable―but also profoundly, persuasively sad. Like Mary Karr or David Sedaris, Bailey doesn't try to manufacture an answer to the questions posed by his family's failings.”
- Elyse Moody, Elle

“It seems fitting that biographer Bailey tells the story of his own life by chronicling his brother Scott’s alcoholism and drug addiction... [His] story captures the contradictions and tensions that simmer just below the surface of the family...and Bailey tells it wonderfully, in a tragicomic tone that slowly reveals the true depths to which his older brother has sunk.”
- Publishers Weekly

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9780393350562: The Splendid Things We Planned: A Family Portrait

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ISBN 10:  0393350568 ISBN 13:  9780393350562
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company, 2015
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Book Description WW Norton & Co, United States, 2014. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Meet the Baileys: Burck, a prosperous lawyer once voted the American Legion's "Citizen of the Year" in his tiny hometown of Vinita, Oklahoma; his wife Marlies, who longs to recapture her festive life in Greenwich Village as a pretty young German immigrant, fresh off the boat; their addled son Scott, who repeatedly crashes the family Porsche; and Blake, the younger son, trying to find a way through the storm. "You're gonna be just like me," a drunken Scott taunts him. "You're gonna be worse." Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, Blake Bailey has been hailed as "addictively readable" (New York Times) and praised for his ability to capture lives "compellingly and in harrowing detail" (Time). The Splendid Things We Planned is his darkly funny account of growing up in the shadow of an erratic and increasingly dangerous brother, an exhilarating and sometimes harrowing story that culminates in one unforgettable Christmas. Seller Inventory # BZV9780393239577

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Book Description WW Norton & Co, United States, 2014. Hardback. Condition: New. Language: English. Brand new Book. Meet the Baileys: Burck, a prosperous lawyer once voted the American Legion's "Citizen of the Year" in his tiny hometown of Vinita, Oklahoma; his wife Marlies, who longs to recapture her festive life in Greenwich Village as a pretty young German immigrant, fresh off the boat; their addled son Scott, who repeatedly crashes the family Porsche; and Blake, the younger son, trying to find a way through the storm. "You're gonna be just like me," a drunken Scott taunts him. "You're gonna be worse." Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, Blake Bailey has been hailed as "addictively readable" (New York Times) and praised for his ability to capture lives "compellingly and in harrowing detail" (Time). The Splendid Things We Planned is his darkly funny account of growing up in the shadow of an erratic and increasingly dangerous brother, an exhilarating and sometimes harrowing story that culminates in one unforgettable Christmas. Seller Inventory # BZV9780393239577

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