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Lee, Chang-Rae Aloft (Lee, Chang-Rae)

ISBN 13: 9781573222631

Aloft (Lee, Chang-Rae)

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9781573222631: Aloft (Lee, Chang-Rae)
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A visit from his daughter and her fiancé from Oregon prompts Jerry Battle to reassess his life, his family relationships, his professional success, and his disengagement from those around him, as he reflects on his professional success and his love of flying solo, in a novel set in an upper-middle-class suburban Long Island community.

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Chang-Rae Lee, named by The New Yorker as one of its 20 writers for the 21st century, has confirmed his place in that company with Aloft, a masterful treatment of a man coming to terms with his own disaffection. In two previous novels, Native Speaker and A Gesture Life, Lee, a Korean-American, writes of lives being not what they seem: in the first, the protagonist is an undercover agent; in the second, the two halves of Franklin Hata's life never quite come together. Both novels won numerous awards, including Best First Novel, the Hemingway PEN Award, the American Book Award and the Asian-American Literary Award, among others. In Aloft, Lee revisits alienation, a fractured family, mixed heritage and the quest for identity.

Jerry Battle, 59-year-old widower and father of two, retired from the family business--the unmistakably earthbound Battle Brothers Brick and Mortar--buys a small plane because "From up here, a half mile above the Earth, everything looks perfect to me." All is not well below. Jerry knows it, saying "the recurring fantasy of my life...is one of perfect continuous travel, this unending hop from one point to another, the pleasures found not in the singular marvels of any destination but in the constancy of serial arrivals and departures, and the comforting companion knowledge that you'll never quite get intimate enough for any trouble to start brewing". His view from aloft saves him from the gritty reality of the detritus of life--and from life itself.

This high-flyer must come to earth, however, when he finds that his daughter is newly pregnant, diagnosed with cancer and refusing treatment; his son, who is running the company, has piled up so much debt that bankruptcy is imminent; and his father has gone missing from his assisted living facility. Jerry can no longer say, with impunity, "Jerry Battle hereby declines the Real". Lee takes us on great side trips into the pleasures of food and recreational sex, his wife Daisy's death and his longtime lover Rita's almost endless patience. He weaves long, Miltonic sentences that start in one place and end up miles away--flights of fancy--trailing clouds of insight and poignancy. With Aloft Lee just keeps getting better. --Valerie Ryan, Amazon.com

Review:

‘Beautifully written ... Lee has a keen sense of the eerie confluence of beauty and vacuity in suburban America’ -- Sunday Times

‘Deeply moving ... one of the best novels I’ve read this year. Don’t miss it’ -- Daily Mail

‘Lee writes with humour and acuity, swirling comic wit and subtlety ... so poignant that the heart sighs in recognition’ -- USA Today

‘Riveting ... Subtle and tender’ -- Guardian

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9781594480706: Aloft

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ISBN 10: 1594480702 ISBN 13: 9781594480706
Publisher: Riverhead Books, 2005
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9780747572480: Aloft

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9781587246777: Aloft (Wheeler Large Print Book Series)

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9780965901994: Aloft

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Book Description Condition: New. Ships From Canada. New in new dust jacket. Glued binding. Cloth over boards. With dust jacket. 352 p. Audience: General/trade. Book Description Set on affluent Long Island, Aloft follows the life of a suburban, upper-middle-class man during a time of family crisis. Jerry Battle's favorite diversion is to fly his small plane over the neighboring towns and villages. When his daughter and her fiance arrive from Oregon to announce their marriage plans, he looks back on his life and faces his disengagement with it-his urge to fly solo-and the people he loves. Chang-rae Lee burst on the scene with Native Speaker, which won numerous awards, including the PEN/Hemingway Award. His second novel, A Gesture Life, established him as one of the preeminent writers of his generation. Now, with Aloft, Lee has expanded his range and proves himself a master storyteller, able to observe his characters' flaws and weaknesses and, at the same time, celebrate their humanity. Aloft is an unforgettable portrait. Seller Inventory # 8975605613

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