SOPHIE MCMANUS The Unfortunates

ISBN 13: 9780099559078

The Unfortunates

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9780099559078: The Unfortunates

Long-listed for the NBCC's John Leonard Prize

This extraordinary debut novel by Sophie McManus is a contemporary American tragedy of breathtaking scope: a dramatic story of pharmaceutical trials and Wall Street corruption; of pride and prejudice; of paranoia and office politics; of inheritance, influence, class, and power.

Cecilia Somner's fate hangs in the balance. A larger-than-life heiress to a robber baron's fortune, once known as much for her cruel wit as for her tremendous generosity, CeCe is now in opulent decline. Afflicted with a rare disease and touched by mortality for the first time, she finds her gilded, by - gone values colliding with an unforgiving present. Along with her troubled son, George, and his out - sider wife, Iris, CeCe must face the Somners' dark legacy and the corrupting nature of wealth. As the Somner family struggles to find a solution to its troubles, the secrets and lies between CeCe, George, and Iris grow entangled. CeCe's world topples, culminating in a startling turn of events that is as unforgettable as it is life-changing.



While no riches can put things right for the unfortunate Somners, when all is lost, they learn what life beyond the long, shimmering shadow cast by the Somner dynasty may become. Sophie McManus' The Unfortunates,hilarious and heartbreaking by turns, is most of all a meditation on love: as delusional obsession, as transformation, and ultimately as a coming to grace.

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About the Author:

Sophie McManus was born in New York City and is a graduate of Vassar College and Sarah Lawrence College's MFA program. She is a recipient of fellowships from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, the Saltonstall Foundation, and the Jentel Foundation. Her work has appeared in American Short Fiction and Tin House, among other publications. The Unfortunates is her first book.

Review:

“A modern day Edith Wharton . . . Just often enough some unknown writer darts from the forest of little magazines to publish a novel that blows away the gathering shades of cultural despair . . . Her first novel, "The Unfortunates," merges Old World elegance and modern irony in a brilliant social satire of life among the 1 percent of the 1 percent . . . almost every sentence here has been worked, through a decade of composition and revision, into a jeweled strand of dry wit.” ―Ron Charles, The Washington Post

“A wonderfully precise and subtle―not to mention unexpectedly moving―take on the assumptions and beleaguerments that go with great wealth . . . The Unfortunates is a sly number of a book, tripping you up in your expectations and re-skewing your sympathies as it goes along . . . Sophie McManus, young as she is, is a truly dexterous writer, one who eyes the insular world she has chosen to crack open for us with as much wisdom as wit. In the process, she has succeeded in giving the rich their multifaceted due, earning for them a modicum of compassion. One wonders where her formidable gift for social satire will take her next.” ―Daphne Merkin, The New Yorker

“Ms. McManus is a talented, intelligent writer, and the story is as well-paced as a good thriller.” ―Moira Hodgson, The Wall Street Journal

“Aside from the beauty of The Unfortunates' line-by-line prose, the novel's great strength is its multifaceted approach. It is an ambitious piece that encapsulates generations and continent-spanning bank accounts while never feeling too callously panoramic.” ―B. David Zarley, Paste Magazine

“McManus takes her readers through . . . with such narrative gusto (and a great many very pretty turns of phrase) that you'd think this were her twentieth novel instead of her first.” ―Steve Donoghue, OpenLettersMonthly.com

“In finely etched detail as sharp as shards of glass, McManus reveals in The Unfortunates the corrupting power of wealth and the myriad ways it infects individual lives and families. It is as relevant as it is compulsively readable.” ―Amanda Coplin, author of The Orchardist

“Sophie McManus has a shrewd eye for telling gestures and an ear for cruel speech and kindness. She is an incisive, surprising prose stylist, and her debut novel heralds an exciting new talent with an old soul.” ―Christine Schutt, author of Prosperous Friends

“Sophie McManus's stunning debut novel revisits American money and brilliantly reconfigures the tradition of fiction about the very rich. What is truly rich about this first novel is the language--lucid, quick, accessible, and yet almost cubist in its syntactical swerves and surprising word choices--with which McManus invests the inner lives of the Somners, mother, son, and daughter-in-law, three unforgettable and finally poignant protagonists.” ―Jaimy Gordon, author of Lord of Misrule

“Is there anything Sophie McManus can't do? Whether it's New York high society or the Amazonian rubber industry or the stubborn indignities of old age, McManus writes with brio and with humor and with immense sympathy. The virtuosity in these pages is astonishing, but just as astonishing is this novel's abiding heart.” ―Joshua Henkin, author of The World Without You and Matrimony

“A big, chewy novel written with comic panache and an infectious tenderness toward the blunders of its heroes. The Unfortunates is both a mirror on the income inequality of the current moment and a social novel in the old, plotty mode: voracious for detail and punctuated by gasp-inducing turns of fate. Its subjects are money and the people unfortunate enough to have it. Who knew the rich deserved so much to be pitied?” ―Salvatore Scibona, author of The End

“To her great credit, McManus uncovers the humanity of a group that rarely receives our empathy even as she exposes the dark side of privilege and entitlement in a timely novel enriched with touches of Edith Wharton.” ―Booklist

“Both funny and heartwarming.” ―Shelf Awareness

“McManus is a talented prose stylist.” ―Kirkus Reviews

“This witty saga . . . is a strong, gripping debut.” ―Entertainment Weekly

“[McManus's] achievement in this novel is creating characters who develop over time, who have goals and desires, who try as hard as they can but still mess up other people's lives. We care about them.” ―Stephanie Shapiro, The Buffalo News

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Book Description Cornerstone, United Kingdom, 2016. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. CeCe Somner, an eccentric heiress once known for her cruel wit as much as for her tremendous generosity, now faces opulent decline. Afflicted with a rare disease and touched by mortality for the first time, her gilded, bygone values collide with an unforgiving present. As her troubled, spoiled son George and his outsider wife Iris struggle to resolve mounting financial and familiar troubles, Cece must face the Somner dynasty s dark legacy. But when George s secrets culminate in an unexpected crime, no riches can put things right for the unfortunate Somners. What will become of all three, who must learn what life will be like beyond the long, shimmering shadow cast by the family s past?. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099559078

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Book Description Cornerstone, United Kingdom, 2016. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. CeCe Somner, an eccentric heiress once known for her cruel wit as much as for her tremendous generosity, now faces opulent decline. Afflicted with a rare disease and touched by mortality for the first time, her gilded, bygone values collide with an unforgiving present. As her troubled, spoiled son George and his outsider wife Iris struggle to resolve mounting financial and familiar troubles, Cece must face the Somner dynasty s dark legacy. But when George s secrets culminate in an unexpected crime, no riches can put things right for the unfortunate Somners. What will become of all three, who must learn what life will be like beyond the long, shimmering shadow cast by the family s past?. Bookseller Inventory # AAZ9780099559078

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Book Description Windmill Books. Book Condition: New. CeCe Somner, an eccentric heiress once known for her cruel wit as much as for her tremendous generosity, now faces opulent decline. As her troubled, spoiled son George and his outsider wife Iris struggle to resolve mounting financial and familiar troubles, Cece must face the Somner dynasty's dark legacy. Num Pages: 368 pages. BIC Classification: FA. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 131 x 197 x 27. Weight in Grams: 258. . 2016. Paperback. . . . . Books ship from the US and Ireland. Bookseller Inventory # V9780099559078

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Book Description Windmill Books, 2016. Book Condition: New. CeCe Somner, an eccentric heiress once known for her cruel wit as much as for her tremendous generosity, now faces opulent decline. As her troubled, spoiled son George and his outsider wife Iris struggle to resolve mounting financial and familiar troubles, Cece must face the Somner dynasty's dark legacy. Num Pages: 368 pages. BIC Classification: FA. Category: (G) General (US: Trade). Dimension: 131 x 197 x 27. Weight in Grams: 258. . 2016. Paperback. . . . . . Bookseller Inventory # V9780099559078

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