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Bloodbrothers

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Eighteen-year-old Stony De Coco has to make a choice: either join his father in the tightly knit world of New York's construction unions or take off and find his own path. But Stony’s family is not about to make that choice easy. As he tries to protect his little brother, Albert, from their dangerously unbalanced mother, and to postpone the difficult adult responsibilities that await him, he finds hope in a job working with children at a hospital—a job that promises not to make ...

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Blood Brothers

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Overview

Eighteen-year-old Stony De Coco has to make a choice: either join his father in the tightly knit world of New York's construction unions or take off and find his own path. But Stony’s family is not about to make that choice easy. As he tries to protect his little brother, Albert, from their dangerously unbalanced mother, and to postpone the difficult adult responsibilities that await him, he finds hope in a job working with children at a hospital—a job that promises not to make anyone happy but Stony.

Richard Price's Bloodbrothers is a soulful and often profane story of working-class life in the Bronx, and one young man's bruising initiation into adulthood.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Exuberant, vigorous, tough . . . dramatizes so well the awful power of family."—The Atlantic Monthly

"Richard Price is the greatest writer of dialogue, living or dead, this country has ever produced."—Dennis Lehane

"For all of its surface violence, blunt language and brute realism, Bloodbrothers is a most subtle book. A sharp portrait of coming-of-age, in sorrow and in strength."—The Washington Post Book World

"Cannot be forgotten by anyone who reads it, and it is not to be missed."—Chicago Tribune

"The action is so psychologically 'true' that reading about these Co-op City brawlers is like being only an uppercut away from them."—The New York Times

"Few contemporary writers have a clearer eye than Price or so effortlessly capture the nuances of speech and movement peculiar to urban man."—Chicago Sun-Times

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780395977736
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 4/28/1999
  • Pages: 288
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.25 (h) x 0.63 (d)

Meet the Author

Richard Price

Richard Price is the author of seven novels, including Clockers, Freedomland, and Lush Life.

Biography

In a 1981 essay he wrote for The New York Times entitled "The Fonzie of Literature," Bronx-born Richard Price sums up the origin of his rep as a streetwise scribe:

"I doubt that if I had written about the suburbs I would have attracted nearly as much attention. I found most interviewers and reviewers more than willing to romanticize my background, to make it sound like I had come out of Hell's Kitchen or an Odyssey House. I spent three hours being interviewed by People magazine, insisting that I was not Piri Thomas or Claude Brown, I was a middle-class Jewish kid who went to three colleges. But when the issue hit the stands, the leadoff of the one-paragraph squib was, 'Richard Price comes from the slum-stricken streets and paved playgrounds of the Bronx.'"

So while he may not be the hardened thug that critics seem to want to believe he is, his string of bestselling novels and hit screenplays are filled with enough urban wit and grit to garner him commercial and critical—if not street—cred.

After graduating from Cornell in 1971, Price broke out of the Bronx with The Wanderers in 1974, when he was 24 and in the process of earning an M.F.A. from Columbia. A series of hard-boiled vignettes about a teenage gang coming up in the 1960s that Price scribbled in his spare time, the collection was whisked off to a literary agent by the head of Columbia's writing program, and Price's debut found a publisher. In 1979, Orion released a major motion picture based on the book. A sort of "anti-Grease," The Wanderers noticeably lacked the nostalgic bubblegum bounce of other coming-of-age novels and flicks of its day, and touched off Price's reputation for being unafraid to expose the dark side of Americana.

Two more acclaimed novels would follow—I>Bloodbrothers (1976) and Ladies' Man (1978)—but soon an out-of-control cocaine habit plunged Price into a creative and personal abyss. "I wasn't even that big of a doper," he recalled to Salon.com. "I was definitely bush league. But enough that it sort of preoccupied me for three years."

Hollywood proved to be the sunny savior Price needed to help him climb out of the funk. By the mid-'80s, he had become a top screenwriter with a roster of hits to his credit, including the The Color of Money (for which he was nominated for an Academy Award), Sea of Love, Ransom, and Mad Dog and Glory. "[Screenwriting] kept me in the writing game, and it also showed me I was able to write about things that were not connected to my autobiography," he told Salon.

In 1994, Price returned to fiction with the novel Clockers—a gritty depiction of crack trafficking in the fictional city of Dempsy, New Jersey, a Dantean hell of crime and urban blight. (Adapted into a film by Spike Lee, Clockers would earn Price another Academy Award nomination for screenwriting.) Since then, he has revisited Dempsy in blockbusters like Freedomland and Samaritan, garnering praise for his unblinkered view of inner-city life and his pitch-perfect ear for street talk. A writer's writer, Price counts among his many admirers such distinguished novelists as Russell Banks, Dennis Lehane, George Pelecanos, Elmore Leonard, and Stephen King. But in a 2003 interview, he confessed that the greatest validation he ever received came from his teenage daughter who read Samaritan and told him he was "really good!" Says Price, "Of course I want The New York Times to sing my praises, but she's my kid."

Good To Know

Price lives in New York City with his wife, downtown artist Judy Hudson, and their two daughters.

The inspiration for his novel Freedomland came from the infamous case of Susan Smith—a woman who admitted to murdering her own children after initially reporting a fictional carjacking.

A former cocaine addict, Price occasionally volunteers his time to speak about the dangers of drugs to high school students.

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    1. Hometown:
      New York, New York
    1. Date of Birth:
      October 12, 1949
    2. Place of Birth:
      Bronx, New York
    1. Education:
      B.A., Cornell University, 1971; M.F.A., Columbia University

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