02-28-2008 11:33 AM
Faithful: Two Diehard Boston Red Sox Fans Chronicle the Historic 2004 Season
Stewart O'Nan and Stephen King
Early in 2004, Red Sox fans O'Nan and King decided to chronicle the upcoming season, one of the most hotly anticipated in baseball history. They would sit together at Fenway. They would exchange emails. They would write about the games. And, as it happened, they would witness the greatest comeback ever in sports, and the first Red Sox championship in eighty-six years. What began as a Sox-filled summer like any other is now a fan's notes for the ages.
The Good Wife
On a clear winter night in upstate New York, two young men break into a house they believe is empty. It isn't, and within minutes an old woman is dead and the house is in flames. Soon after, the men are caught by the police. Across the county, a phone rings in a darkened bedroom, waking a pregnant woman. It's her husband. He wants her to know that he and his friend have gotten themselves into a little trouble. At once a love story and a portrait of a woman discovering her own strength, The Good Wife follows Patty Dickerson through the twenty-eight years of her husband's incarceration, as she raises her son, navigates a system that has no place for her, and braves the scorn of her community.
The Night Country
At midnight on Halloween in a cloistered New England suburb, a car carrying five teenagers leaves a winding road and slams into a tree, killing three of them. One escapes unharmed, another suffers severe brain damage. A year later, summoned by the memories of those closest to them, the three who died come back on a last chilling mission among the living.
Arthur Parkinson is fourteen during the dreary winter of 1974, experiencing the confusing pangs of adolescence and the pain of his parents’ divorce. His world is shattered further by the sudden and violent death of Annie Marchand, his beloved former baby-sitter. Narrated by the adult Arthur, who continues to be haunted by memories, the story of a young man’s unraveling family and the circumstances leading up to Annie’s death forms the backdrop for an intimate tale of the price of love and belonging, told in a spare, translucent, and unexpectedly tender voice.
Circus Fire : A True Story of an American Tragedy
On July 6, 1944, in Hartford, Connecticut, the big top of Ringling Bros. Barnum & Bailey Circus caught fire during the middle of the afternoon performance. Nine thousand people were inside. The canvas of the big tent had been waterproofed with a mixture of paraffin and gasoline. In seconds, the big top was burning out of control. Bleacher seats were fronted by steel railings with narrow openings; the main exits were blocked by caged chutes in which leopards and lions, having just performed, raged, maddened by the fire. In re-creating the horrific events of one of America's most cataclysmic civic tragedies, O'Nan has fashioned both an incomparably gripping narrative and a profound, measured glimpse into the extremes of human behavior under duress.
A Prayer for the Dying
Set in Friendship, Wisconsin, just after the Civil War, A Prayer for the Dying tells of a horrible epidemic that has gripped the town in a vice of fear and death. Jacob Hansen, Friendship's sheriff, undertaker, and pastor, is soon overwhelmed, though he continues to do what he can. Dark, poetic, and chilling, A Prayer for the Dying makes us consider if it's possible to be a good man in a time of madness.
Wish You Were Here
It's been a year since the death of her husband, Henry, and Emily Maxwell gathers her family in Lake Chautauqua in western New York for what will be their last vacation at their summer cottage before she sells the property. As O'Nan inhabits the mind and heart of each member of the house through the course of their week together, he illuminates the many lives of the Maxwell family as memories of summers past resurface, old rivalries flare up, and love is rekindled and born anew by the shores of the lake.
O'Nan captures in heartbreaking detail and embattled black neighborhood in Pittsburgh: A teenaged boy paralyzed while spray-painting graffiti on a bridge; the mother of his child trying to get through college part-time; his brother, recently out of jail and newly religious; their father, who harbors a dark secret; and the local politician who wonders where he went wrong.
The Speed Queen
Marjorie Standiford sits on Oklahoma's death row, hours away from execution, speaking into a tape recorder, telling her life story. She's answering questions about how she became the Speed Queen, one of the Sonic Killers -- how mainlining speed with her husband, Lamont, and her lover, Natalie, grew into dealing, how dealing grew into robbery, and robbery into mass murder. She's telling her story because she wants to set the record straight, to correct the lies in Natalie's book, which became a bestseller.
In the Walled City: Stories
In these 12 short stories, O'Nan gives us people who face a bleak and often hostile world but yearn for grace. A man who drives a van of terminal patients to their radiation treatments learns to accept their deaths. The feud between a widow and her hired hand ends with the recognition of each other's loneliness. A community joins to search for a missing child. For all his characters there is a saving optimism in the midst of tragedy. Though the weight of events threatens them, parents still minister to children, wives suffer husbands, and lovers touch.