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“Nova’s career-defining 1982 novel The Good Son explored the relationship between a domineering, social-climbing father, Pop Mackinnon, and his loyal but restless son Chip, a World War II veteran who returns home to an arranged marriage. This equally impressive sequel follows Chip’s son Frank, now happily married and a Boston prosecutor, after his father’s death by stroke unleashes long-buried family secrets and resentments Nova’s scenic evocation of Boston is spot-on, as is his emotional detailing of the fragile intricacies of family.” —Publishers Weekly (Starred and Boxed)
“’Long-awaited’ is an overused phrase in publishers’ promotional blurbs, but Nova’s follow-up to his acclaimed 1982 novel The Good Son merits that description as much as any recent fiction, and it has been well worth the lengthy wait. Nova now brings forward more than one full generation his account of the Mackinnon family [their] roots are in a richly described Delaware Valley, but this dark saga is also set in a seamy New England familiar to readers of George V. Higgins’ classic The Friends of Eddie Coyle or Geoffrey Wolff’s Providence. It is told with comparable verve, wit, horror, and beauty—even when vulgar, even repellent—and with images and set pieces that will haunt the reader long after they've put the book down. This gripping and intelligent chronicle of love, legacy, and betrayal (the title may suggest a genre mystery, which this surely isn’t) captures a complex clan entangled in a questionable moral universe. Nova’s Mackinnons, both here and in The Good Son, leave their edgy mark on the modern American literary landscape.” —Booklist (Starred)
“The Good Son was a wonderful meditation on ambitions, love, and parenthood. All the Dead Yale Men takes up those themes at the beginning of the new century, when it's as hard as it has ever been to be father Nova is especially adept at drawing dark characters, and having their darkness creep up and catch you by surprise. He creates a vivid portrait of well-off New England and the Delaware River Valley, with often-moving descriptions of the natural world. Then Nova fills these backdrops with seemingly normal and successful people who become, from one moment to the next, desperate, manipulative and self-destructive fans of The Good Son will enjoy seeing the Mackinnon family's obsessions play out in the noir landscape of the early 21st century.” —The Los Angeles Times
“There’s a genuinely classical grandeur to Nova’s tales of erotic derailment and titanic family conflict. There’s also a sense of life as an absurdist pageant, where the ridiculous is so closely linked to the deadly serious that they seem like two facets of the same thing . In Nova’s world, nature — like this novel — is a real piece of work.” —The Seattle Times
"A great novel by one of our great novelists. A pleasure on every page." —Dennis Lehane
Praise for The Constant Heart:
“Superb in prose and its evocations of character and nature, The Constant Heart is a wonderful novel by a writer whose range continues to dazzle me. As a writer, I marveled at the pure scope of Nova's gifts as a storyteller. As a reader, I simply enjoyed my ride through the emotional heart of this affecting novel.” —Oscar Hijuelos
“ An evocative family yarn Nova has again produced expertly drawn characters and carefully measured, suspenseful prose with some surprises, all with undertones orbiting around Einstein’s cosmological constant theory of relativity.” —Publishers Weekly (Starred)
"[A] meditative, philosophical, and beautifully realized novel about the nature of embattled American manhood. Both Jake and his father are deeply sympathetic characters, and Nova celebrates perhaps most fundamentally here the compassionate and honorable way they treat the women in their lives discussions of Einstein's theory of relativity are interspersed throughout the novel, providing a fascinating thematic element related to the search for something constant in a world defined by change and instability. This is a novel of deep maturity and thoughtfulness.” —Library Journal
Excerpted from All the Dead Yale Men by Craig Nova Copyright © 2013 by Craig Nova. Excerpted by permission.
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