A contemporary ballad of heartbreak, failure, and unquenchable longing, this novel presents Don Lee at his best.Yadin Park is a talented alt-country musician whose career has floundereddoomed first by his homely looks and lack of stage presence and then by a progressive hearing disorder. His girlfriend, Jeanette Matsuda, might have been a professional photographer but for a devastating heartbreak in her teens. Now Yadin works for Jeanette’s father’s carpet-laying company in California while Jeanette cleans rooms at a local resort.When Yadin’s former lover and musical partner, the celebrated Mallory Wicks, comes back into his life, all their most private hopes and desires are exposed, their secret fantasies about love and success put to the test.Drawn to the music of indie singer-songwriters like Will Johnson, who helped shape the lyrics in this book, Don Lee has written a novel that unforgettably captures America’s deepest yearnings. Beautifully sad and laced with dark humor, Lonesome Lies Before Us is a profound, heartfelt romance, a soulful and memorable song.
|Publisher:||Norton, W. W. & Company, Inc.|
|Product dimensions:||5.30(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.20(d)|
About the Author
Don Lee is the author of the novels The Collective, Wrack and Ruin, and Country of Origin, and the story collection Yellow. He has received an American Book Award, the Asian/Pacific American Award for Literature, the Sue Kaufman Prize for First Fiction, the Edgar Award for Best First Novel, an O. Henry Award, and a Pushcart Prize. He teaches in the MFA program in creative writing at Temple University and splits his time between Philadelphia and Baltimore.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Don Lee is a master at writing about life. Just like with The Collective, Lonesome punched me in the gut and left me there to feel it. Brilliance!
full disclosure: i took a fiction writing class with don lee while he taught at emerson college. but i don't think i'm biased, more than anything i was feeling trepidatious about reading this. his class gave me a lot of anxiety that i think remains unresolved. i requested lonesome lies before us because i can't resist fiction written about music, even though i'm not musical at all, i really enjoy how people write about music. in any case, the actual reading of this novel is a pleasure. it's easy to be drawn into yadin's story. it's so easy to read this kind of writing, don lee knows his craft. but sometimes reading stories like this i wonder, if i read the first 10% and the last 10% will i have missed anything? i'm not sure i would have. contemporary literary fiction often leaves me feeling like this. as if the world were in stasis and where we end up is where we began. it's not that things don't happen. yadin is a washed out songwriter who has made a decent life for himself out of the ashes of his success. he's got a good job. he's got a girlfriend. he's managing his health. and he's writing music. good music he thinks. and sure he's racing against time to write all the songs he has down. his ménière's disease will take his hearing and with it his songs. so when he reconnects with his past life, he hovers on the verge of success again, and he has choices to make. what does he really want? fame? fortune? acclaim? could it really be that easy to pick up his life as a celebrity again? doesn't he prefer his life now? sometimes even if we know the answers we go through the motions of possibilities. but reality, truth is inescapable. yadin finds himself exactly where he needs to be. and if the title of his song, of his album seems like a self-fulfilling prophecy, so be it. **lonesome lies before us will publish on june 6, 2017. i received an advance reader copy courtesy of netgalley/w.w. norton & company in exchange for my honest review.