Fiction Rick Moody Purple America.

ISBN 13: 9780002256872

Purple America.

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9780002256872: Purple America.

On the occasion of the paperback release of Demonology, Back Bay Books takes pleasure in making all four of Rick Moody's acclaimed earlier works of fiction available in handsome new paperback editions.

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Review:

Purple America begins in a bathtub and ends in Long Island Sound. In between, Rick Moody's latest novel explores the landscape of a family in crisis. Dexter (Hex) Raitliffe, a freelance publicist, returns home to care for his mother, Billie, who is dying by inches of a neurological disease that will rob her of motion, of speech, and finally of thought. Billie's second husband has left her--a fact that Hex is unaware of until he comes home--and her only hope for assisted suicide lies in her son. Unfortunately, Hex is barely able to conduct his own life, much less take his mother's. Purple America takes place over the course of a single night; in that night, Hex gives his mother a bath, reconnects with an old love, gets drunk, and goes after his stepfather to confront him, with tragic results.

As Moody weaves his tale of this fateful Friday evening, he juxtaposes themes of aging, obsolescence, and physical decline with an accident at the nuclear power plant where his stepfather works. What lifts this novel above its rather depressing subject matter is Moody's unsentimental storytelling and the soaring language with which he gives his characters voice. Purple America is by turns lyrical, tragic, ferocious, and funny, and Rick Moody is a writer with a brilliant future ahead of him.

About the Author:

Rick Moody (born Hiram Frederick Moody, III on October 18, 1961, New York City), is an American novelist and short story writer best known for The Ice Storm (1994), a chronicle of the dissolution of two suburban Connecticut families over Thanksgiving weekend in 1973. His first novel Garden State (1992) won the Pushcart Editor's Choice Award. His memoir The Black Veil (2002) won the PEN/Martha Albrand Award for the Art of the Memoir. He has also received the Addison Metcalf Award, the Paris Review Aga Khan Prize, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. His work has appeared in The New Yorker, Esquire, the Paris Review, Harper's, Details, the New York Times, and Grand Street. He grew up in several of the Connecticut suburbs where he later set stories and novels, including Darien and New Canaan. He graduated from St. Paul's School in New Hampshire, Brown University, received a master's degree in fine art from Columbia University and has taught at the State University of New York at Purchase and Bennington College. According to The Writer's Almanac, Moody dropped out of graduate school at Columbia after a year because he spent most of his time drinking and had a hard time paying his rent or holding a job. Moody stated, "I was a clerk at [a bookstore] and I got fired after one month. They said, 'We really like you and we respect you as a writer, but this cash register thing is just not working out.'" Moody finally checked himself into a mental hospital, got sober, and then he wrote his first novel, Garden State, about young people growing up in the industrial wasteland of New Jersey. He lives in Brooklyn and Fishers Island.

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Rick Moody
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Moody, Rick
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