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 actually 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 Ben, a accomplice in a prestigious legislations company, has turn into unpredictable at paintings and withdrawn at home—a swap that weighs seriously on his spouse, Helen, and their preteen daughter, Sara.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 little thing the Armsteads have outfitted jointly unravels, quickly and spectacularly.
push back into the operating global, Helen unearths a role in public relatives and relocates with Sara from their domestic in upstate ny to an residence in ny. There, Helen discovers she has an extraordinary present, critical on this planet of snapshot regulate: she will persuade smug males to confess their blunders, spinning crises into moment percentages. but redemption is extra simply granted in her expert existence than in her own one.
As she is faced with the largest case of her occupation, 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 skill for forgiveness.
Praise for A Thousand Pardons
“A Thousand Pardons is that infrequent factor: a real literary mystery. Eerily suspenseful and choked with dramatic occasion, it additionally bargains 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 experiences (starred review)
“Dee is adept at meshing the complexities of marriage and relations existence with the paradoxes of the zeitgeist. In his 6th meticulously lathed and magnetizing novel, he riffs at the perform of trouble 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 unique tale . . . a sensible, witty examine the rites of apology in modern America.”—Shelf knowledge
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Extra info for A Thousand Pardons: A Novel
Kamilla! Küßt sie heftig. (K-W, 2: 104) This style of writing is associative: the dashes indicate the leaps of imagination which link ideas whose relationship is not explicit, and the exclamation marks indicate an intensity which goes beyond the precise dictionary meaning of words. This is the disjointed stammering of a man who is overwhelmed by emotion, whose words and images are gestures rather than an abstract medium for communicating clear and distinct ideas. Klinger is here, in the violence of the language as much as in the violence of the kiss Guelfo forces on Kamilla, deliberately rejecting the coherent, balanced, and, in the end, idealizing language demanded by the French neoclassical tradition.
First, despite all the differences and variations, there is an inner consistency to the ideas, motifs, and styles of the Sturm und Drang. Second, the history of the INTRODUCTION K 39 culture of the period has a certain coherence: that is, however cautious we need to be, it is, nevertheless, possible to suggest some of the reasons why the Sturm und Drang emerged at a particular juncture. There is a complex interplay between different levels of explanation, ranging from the ideological needs of certain social strata to, for example, the circumstances that contrived to make Goethe and Herder, this Goethe and this Herder, meet in Strasbourg in the autumn of 1770.
While the institutionalized forms of relationship sanctioned by society progress from the engagement of Lotte and Albert in the first part of the novel to their marriage in the second, Werther is cast in the role of the outsider. He is also, correspondingly, the one who is more sensitive and more preoccupied with his own feelings, and he acts as a contrast to his more conventional rival, Albert. At the beginning of the second part of the novel Werther breaks away and takes a post as secretary to an ambassador; but here, too, he comes into conflict with convention.