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Miracle Girl

Miracle GirlThe San Francisco Chronicle hailed Keith Scribner’s first novel, The GoodLife, as “the literary love child of Truman Capote and Robert Altman.” “An exquisitely choreographed story of the banality of evil,” raved The Baltimore Sun. “Not since John Cheever’s Bullet Park has a novel so captured the violent vicissitudes of suburbia.” Now Scribner turns his eye to the gritty urban landscape of America’s dying industrial cities, to questions about faith and ethics, and tells a twisting tale that will seduce you into suspending your notions about reality until the very last chapter.

Strange, extraordinary things are happening in Hudson City. A beautiful Vietnamese-American girl has been appearing to residents in their dreams, and there are reports that bum legs, sinus headaches, and tonsillitis are clearing up all over town. Amazingly, one young man has even spontaneously regained his hearing. And the Miracle Girl, newspapers and local TV eagerly report, is deaf.

John Fitzgerald Kennedy Quinn manages real estate for the Catholic diocese, but he’s a man of little faith. Raised on Watergate and Vietnam, nurtured on the materialism of the eighties and nineties, he couldn’t be less likely to believe in miracles. Sue Phong, he is certain, is a fraud. But thousands of pilgrims are pouring into upstate New York, eager for healing, hope, or even just a glimpse of the Miracle Girl. (more…)

The GoodLife

The GoodlifeA chilling psychological study of an ordinary husband and wife consumed by their pursuit of the American Dream, The GoodLife is based on the true story of the kidnapping of an Exxon executive in suburban New Jersey by an unlikely pair of criminals: a middle-aged, middle-class husband and wife, deeply in debt. He was the son of a retired cop; she was the mother of two. Together, they believed they were entitled to more, to a taste of the good life. Intrigued by the audacity of their crime and its psychological underpinnings, award-winning writer Keith Scribner turned his fascination into an unsettling, compulsively readable novel about the American Dream gone awry. Told from five different points of view, The GoodLife unfolds over the course of three excruciating days. As the couple’s carefully wrought scheme begins to falter and their desperation mounts, the novel becomes an engrossing depiction of how a tenuous moral hold comes undone. As much a cautionary tale as a penetrating thriller, Scribner’s debut is about the slippery seduction of relative truth and the dangerous lure of entitlement. (more…)

The Oregon Experiment

The Oregon ExperimentNaomi and Scanlon Pratt are at the threshold of a new life. Transplants from back East to small-town Oregon, he’ll be a professor at the university-teaching mass movements and domestic radicalism-and she, a professional “nose” who lost her sense of smell, is pregnant with their first child.

For Scanlon, all of this is ideal. With ample opportunity for field research, he finds a subject in Clay, a young anarchist who despises him but adores his wife, and also becomes involved with a local secessionist movement—and its sensuous, free-spirited leader. Naomi, while far less enchanted, discovers that Oregon offers a multitude of scents. Her nose has returned-though she isn’t pleased with everything she smells.

As they welcome their newborn, their lives become increasingly intertwined with Clay’s, the stakes begin to rise, and they soon must decide exactly where their loyalties lie-before the world Scanlon has been dabbling in threatens to engulf them all. A contemporary civil war between desire and betrayal, rich in crisp, luxuriant detail, The Oregon Experiment explores a minefield of convictions and complications at once political, social, and intimately personal.


Old Newgate Road

Old Newgate Road runs through the tobacco fields of northern Connecticut that once drove the local economy. It’s where Cole Callahan spent his youth, in a historic white colonial that his family was devoted to restoring–painstakingly, relentlessly, pointlessly. But the famous claim that you can’t go home again falls far short in this instance. Cole has not come back to this house, to this street, in thirty years–not since he was a teenager, when one night his father murdered his mother in a fit of rage. Now, however, he finally dares to risk it, ostensibly to collect precious material for his construction business on the west coast, and is shocked to discover his elderly father, freed from prison, living alone in their old home, and succumbing to dementia. Compelled by a sense of responsibility to a man he hates, and confronted in middle age by everything he’d left unfinished when he fled this place in his aborted childhood, he finds that the time for a reckoning has at last come.  (more…)