A Call from Jerseyby P. F. Kluge
With A Call From New Jersey Kluge has outdone himself with a long view of the American experience and the steady mutation of the American dream.Set in the1980's it follows the life of Hans Greifinger, a German-American who immigrated to the United States in 1928 and built a life for himself and his son, George, who has adopted the surname Griffin for/p>/em>
With A Call From New Jersey Kluge has outdone himself with a long view of the American experience and the steady mutation of the American dream.Set in the1980's it follows the life of Hans Greifinger, a German-American who immigrated to the United States in 1928 and built a life for himself and his son, George, who has adopted the surname Griffin for his nationally-syndicated lackluster travel column.
"A Call from Jersey is a luminous and compelling novel about the way surprises from the past can reshape our future. An invitation to a high school reunion brings a restless travel writer back to New Jersey to confront a father he abandoned, friends he forgot, and a history he never knew. Kluge knows his characters from the inside and his comic, loving portrayals stand with the best of Russo and Irving. Jersey has never seemed more exotic. Kluge entertains while provoking all the big questions about the meaning of origins and the search for home." Askold Melnyczuk
"I have admired every novel by P.F. Kluge, but I must say that A Call From Jersey is the most stunning, provocative and beautifully written of all. It's splendid fiction of courseïbut it's like the autobiography of a life I wish I'd had. A life I wish I could animate with such powerful immediacy, humor, unmitigated emotion as this brilliant writer Mr. Kluge has. This novel is the rare iconic immigrant story inimitable, mesmerizing, tough-minded, generous, and haunting." Howard Norman, author of What Is Left the Daughter
"P.F. Kluge has enchanting powers: a narrative voice that is distinctive without being mannered, and fictional characters bold to express their deepest emotions without sentimentality. A Call From Jersey is a beautifully modulated father and son drama that reconciles two generations of German Americans, those who immigrated in the 1930s, and their more cynical offspring who came of age in the 1960s. This new novel adds a salient chapter to the history of the American dream." Daniel Mark Epstein
'Absorbing...as much about the 20th Century experience as it is about brothers, fathers, and sons' Publishers Weekly
"[P. F. Kluge] sketches a difficult but ultimately loving father/son relationship with a rare sincerity and welcome humor. Heartfelt, funny and poignant." Kirkus Reviews
'We're very fond of books set in New Jersey. And, since our grandparents were immigrants, we're very fond of books about those "tempest tossed" souls.' Asbury Park Press Praise for P.F Kluge
One of NPR's Best Books of 2008
'A Sharply observed yet tender novel ...a quirky, tart yet unexpectedly generous story.' -New York Times'A sparkling new novel, witty and astute.' -Entertainment Weekly
'Kluge has dozens of gorgeous, wrenching passages, details, throw-away observations. He can really write, like a man who means it.' -San Francisco Chronicle
'The book's sense of place is authentic' New Jersey Star-Ledger
'Engaging intergenerational story...Kluge [is] a wry and underappreciated novelist' Cleveland Plain Dealer
A Sharply observed yet tender novel - quirky, tart yet unexpectedly generous story.
Set in 1980s New Jersey, Kluge's novel (Gone Tomorrow,2008, etc.) follows a German immigrant and his travel writer son's attempt to forge an emotional connection as they tackle issues of home, family, identity and artistic integrity.
After receiving a letter from his father, Hans, George Griffin returns to his childhood home in New Jersey, where Hans tells him about his plan to sell the house and move back to Germany, his country of origin. The two quickly fall into a familiar pattern of bickering. George thinks his father is stubborn and old fashioned, and Hans has never understood why George anglicized Greifinger, his German surname. Hans also thinks George's work doesn't live up to his early potential. Not that George disagrees: His travel writing is hacky at best, full of cliché and groaningly purple prose, and he knows it. On the other hand, it pays for trips around the world, and for a pricy apartment in Manhattan with a view of Central Park. Hans, who has lived in New Jersey for decades, came to New York in the '20s and spent years in one of the city's vibrant German neighborhoods. The Manhattan—and later on, New Jersey—that Hans remembers was very different from what George knows, full of beer and sausages and the German language, and time spent with Hans's more sociable brother Heinz. Meanwhile, back in the New Jersey of the '80s, George runs into some friends from high school at a diner. He reconnects with his old acquaintances, including the object of an intense high-school crush, and wonders whether he should go to his upcoming high-school reunion after all. But when Hans receives an intriguing postcard, the two set off on a car ride to Florida, giving them plenty of time to figure each other out. Kluge shifts perspective between George and Hans, lending each character a distinct, equally compelling voice. He sketches a difficult but ultimately loving father/son relationship with a rare sincerity and welcome humor.
Heartfelt, funny and poignant.
- The Overlook Press
- Publication date:
- Sold by:
- Barnes & Noble
- NOOK Book
- File size:
- 771 KB
- Age Range:
- 18 Years
What People are Saying About This
Meet the Author
P.F. Kluge is Writer in Residence at Kenyon College. He is the author of Gone Tomorrow and A Call From Jersey, published by Overlook. Two films, Dog Day Afternoon and Eddie and the Cruisers, are based on his work.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews
A Call From Jersey is a marvelously written story of German immigrant Hans and his son George, a travel writing. They take a trip down to Florida to find Han's brother Heinz but along the way their relationship becomes stronger. P.F. Kluge creates such charming characters and beautifully written stories. I enjoyed how he describes the life of the German immigrant in the 20s. Wonderfully written.