The Bridge

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9780060186302: The Bridge

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning Doug Marlette comes a captivating story of family and forgiveness, of indomitable women and their courageous, headstrong men. It is the story of an enduring friendship, and of a bittersweet longing as old as Shakespeare and as contemporary as today's headlines.

Pick Cantrell is a successful newspaper cartoonist whose career has hit the skids. Fired from his job in New York and in the grip of a midlife meltdown, he returns with his wife and son to a small North Carolina town, where he confronts the ghosts of his past in the form of the family matriarch and his boyhood nemesis, Mama Lucy. While attempting to renovate an old house and repair his damaged marriage, Pick discovers his family's ties to the historic home and his own connection to a place he belonged to long before it ever belonged to him. What follows is an extraordinary story within a story, as Pick uncovers startling truths about himself and about the role his grandmother played in the tragic general textile strike Of 1934, one of the least-known major events of American history.

Moving from the frontlines of New York City publishing to the storied backroads of the old South, The Bridge is a sweeping and poignant tale of love and betrayal, forbidden passions and longburied secrets, of a man's struggle with his heritage and with himself. And the ancient bridge where past and present meet.

A novel both comic and tragic-and written with the same wit, insight, and unflinching honesty Marlette has long brought to his prizewinning cartoons -- The Bridge explores how much we ever really know about others, and, most important, about ourselves.

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About the Author:

Doug Marlette is a Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist. He lives in North Carolina with his wife and son. The Bridge is his first novel.

From Publishers Weekly:

Although admirably ambitious and sporadically engaging, this altogether disjointed and overstuffed (not to mention disappointingly self-conscious and contrived) roman ? clef marks the fiction debut of a gifted and perceptive artist, widely acclaimed as a Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist and for the homespun philosophies and humorous insights of his syndicated comic strip, Kudzu. Unblushingly autobiographical, the novel follows the self-destructive adventures of Pick Cantrell, an "enfant terrible" editorial cartoonist who has risen to eminence at the Sun, a Long Island daily newspaper that purports to represent the cutting edge of urban sophistication. When he attacks his publisher after he is fired over a controversial, unflattering cartoon of the pope, Cantrell buys a rundown old mansion and with his beautiful cinematographer wife, Cam, and young son, Wiley retreats to his ancestral roots near Chapel Hill, N.C., to lick his wounds. While he begins the restoration of the historic manor house, Cam resumes her career and becomes the breadwinner. On his home turf, Cantrell is thrown back into conflict with his ogreish paternal grandmother, Mama Lucy, and the pulpy tale bounces between Pick's first-person narration of his domestic struggles (Cam is resentful of his granny and practically everything else), and Mama Lucy's third-person recollections of the bloody cotton mill strikes of 1934. Pick and Cam's conflicts are pure soap opera, and Pick's antipathy for Mama Lucy is too petty to generate real empathy, but the intriguing peeks into history are well worth suffering for. 7-city author tour. (Oct.) Forecast: Advance hype and an impressive roster of blurbers Pat Conroy, Anne Rivers Siddons, Rick Bragg, Joe Klein and Kaye Gibbons, among others should move this title. Aimed point-blank at Conroy readers, it even sports jacket art by Conroy's cover artist, Wendell Minor.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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