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Middle Men

by Jim Gavin

In Middle Men, Stegner Fellow and New Yorker contributor Jim Gavin delivers a hilarious and panoramic vision of California, portraying a group of men, from young dreamers to old vets, as they make valiant forays into middle-class respectability. In "Play the Man" a high-school basketball player aspires to a college scholarship, in "Elephant Doors", a production assistant on a game show moonlights as a stand-up comedian, and in the collection's last story, the immensely moving "Costello", a middle-aged plumbing supplies salesman comes to terms with the death of his wife. The men in Gavin's stories all find themselves stuck somewhere in the middle, caught half way between their dreams and the often crushing reality of their lives. A work of profound humanity that pairs moments of high comedy with searing truths about life's missed opportunities, Middle Men brings to life a series of unforgettable characters learning what it means to love and work and be in the world as a man, and it offers our first look at a gifted writer who has just begun teaching us the tools of his trade.

Simon & Schuster 2013 Fiction Sampler

by Teddy Wayne Marjorie Celona Jim Gavin Tracy Guzeman Paul Yoon William Nicholson Elizabeth Hartley Winthrop

We are proud to introduce seven powerful, original, and irresistible novels coming in 2013 from Simon & Schuster: The Love Song of Jonny Valentine, Y, Middle Men, Motherland, The Why of Things, The Gravity of Birds, and Snow Hunters. This sample features exclusive excerpts, interviews with the writers, and commentary from the books' editors. In The Love Song of Jonny Valentine by Teddy Wayne, an eleven-year-old pop megastar searches for his identity in the dark heart of America's monstrous obsession with fame. Marjorie Celona's highly acclaimed and exquisitely rendered debut, Y, follows a wise-beyond-her-years foster child abandoned as a newborn on the doorstep of the local YMCA. From an Academy Award-nominated screenwriter, Motherland is a powerful story of a love triangle set in England, France, India, and Jamaica against the backdrop of World War II. In Middle Men, Stegner Fellow and New Yorker contributor Jim Gavin delivers a hilarious and panoramic vision of California, portraying a group of men, from young dreamers to old vets, as they make valiant forays into middle-class respectability. Tracy Guzeman's compelling debut novel, The Gravity of Birds, follows the ordeal of an art authenticator and an art historian employed by a famous, reclusive painter to sell a never-before-seen portrait, leading them to discover devastating secrets two sisters have kept from each other, and from the artist. In Snow Hunters, an elegant, haunting, and highly anticipated debut novel from 5 Under 35 National Book Foundation honoree Paul Yoon, a North Korean war refugee confronts the wreckage of his past. From the critically acclaimed author of December comes The Why Of Things, a buoyant and beautiful new novel about a family struggling in the aftermath of a suicide. Each author is an accomplished artist and has created a lasting work you'll want to read and relish and talk about.

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