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- KurzbeschreibungThe New York Times -bestselling novel by the critically acclaimed author of Native Speaker and A Gesture Life . At 59, Jerry Battle is coasting through life. His favorite pastime is flying his small plane high above Long Island. Aloft, he can escape from the troubles that plague his family, neighbors, and loved ones on the ground. But he can't stay in the air forever. Only months before his 60th birthday, a culmination of family crises finally pull Jerry down from his emotionally distant course. Jerry learns that his family's stability is in jeopardy. His father, Hank, is growing increasingly unhappy in his assisted living facility. His son, Jack, has taken over the family landscaping business but is running it into bankruptcy. His daughter, Theresa, has become pregnant and has been diagnosed with cancer. His longtime girlfriend, Rita, who helped raise his children, has now moved in with another man. And Jerry still has unanswered questions that he must face regarding the circumstances surrounding the death of his late wife. Since the day his wife died, Jerry has turned avoiding conflict into an art form-the perfect expression being his solitary flights from which he can look down on a world that appears serene and unscathed. From his comfortable distance, he can't see the messy details, let alone begin to confront them. But Jerry is learning that in avoiding conflict, he is also avoiding contact with the people he loves most.
- AutorChang-Rae Lee
- Seiten364 Seiten
- Gewicht304 g
- LeseprobeChapter one<br>FROM UP H E R E, a half mile above the Earth, everything<br>looks perfect to me.I am in my nifty little Skyhawk, banking her back into the sun,<br>having nearly completed my usual fair-weather loop. Below is the<br>eastern end of Long Island, and I'm flying just now over that part<br>of the land where the two gnarly forks shoot out into the Atlantic.<br>The town directly ahead, which is nothing special when you're on<br>foot, looks pretty magnificent now, the late-summer sun casting<br>upon the macadam of the streets a soft, ebonized sheen, its orangey<br>light reflecting back at me, matching my direction and<br>speed in the windows and bumpers of the parked cars and swimming<br>pools of the simple, square houses set snugly in rows. There<br>is a mysterious, runelike cipher to the newer, larger homes wagoning<br>in their cul-de-sac hoops, and then, too, in the flat roofs of the<br>shopping mall buildings, with their shiny metal circuitry of<br>HVAC housings and tubes.<br>From up here, all the trees seem ideally formed and arranged,<br>as if fretted over by a persnickety florist god, even the ones (no<br>doubt volunteers) clumped along the fencing of the big scrap<br>metal lot, their spindly, leggy uprush not just a pleasing garnish to<br>the variegated piles of old hubcaps and washing machines, but<br>then, for a stock guy like me, mere heartbeats shy of sixty (hard to<br>even say that), the life signs of a positively priapic yearning. Just<br>to the south, on the baseball diamond-our people's pattern<br>supreme-the local Little League game is entering the late innings,<br>the baby-blue-shirted players positioned straightaway and<br>shallow, in the bleachers their parents only appearing to sit churchquiet<br>and still, the sole perceivable movement a bounding goldenhaired<br>dog tracking down a Frisbee in deep, deep centerfield.<br>Go, boy, go.<br>And as I point my ship-Donnie is her name-to track alongside<br>the broad arterial lanes of Route 495, the great and awful<br>Long Island Expressway, and see the already-accrued jams of the<br>Sunday Hamptons traffic inching back to the city, the grinding<br>columns of which, from my seat, appear to constitute an orderly<br>long march, I feel as if I'm going at a heady light speed, certainly<br>moving too fast in relation to the rest, an imparity that should by<br>any account invigorate but somehow unsettles all the same, and I<br>veer a couple of degrees northwest to head over the remaining<br>patchworks of farmland and scrubby forest and then soon enough<br>the immense, uninterrupted stretch of older, densely built townships<br>like mine, where beneath the obscuring canopy men like me<br>are going about the last details of their weekend business, sweeping<br>their front walks and dragging trash cans to the street and<br>washing their cars just as they have since boyhood and youth,<br>soaping from top to bottom and brushing the wheels of sooty<br>brake dust, one spoke at a time.<br />confetti of a million cigarette butts, the ever-creeping sidewalk<br>mosses and weeds; I can't see the tumbling faded newspaper circular<br>page, or the dead, gassy possum beached at the foot of the curb
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