Upstate

A Novel by James Wood

  • Published: Oct 18, 2020

New Yorker book critic and award-winning author James Wood delivers a novel of a family struggling to connect with one another and find meaning in their own lives. In the years since his daughter Vanessa moved to America to become a professor of philosophy,... read more

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Details of Upstate

Exact title of the book
Upstate
Book author
James Wood
ISBN
9780374279530
Publisher
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Published
Jun 05, 2018
Language
English
Format
PDF, FB2, EPUB, MOBI
File size (in PDF)
2016 kB

Some brief overview of book

New Yorker book critic and award-winning author James Wood delivers a novel of a family struggling to connect with one another and find meaning in their own lives. In the years since his daughter Vanessa moved to America to become a professor of philosophy, Alan Querry has never been to visit. He has been too busy at home in northern England, holding together his business as a successful property developer.

His younger daughter, Helena music executive in Londonhasnt gone, either, and the two sisters, close but competitive, have never quite recovered from their parents bitter divorce and the early death of their mother. But when Vanessas new boyfriend sends word that she has fallen into a severe depression and that hes worried for her safety, Alan and Helen fly to New York and take the train to Saratoga Springs. Over the course of six wintry days in upstate New York, the Querry family begins to struggle with the questions that animate this profound and searching novel Why do some people find living so much harder than others?

Is happiness a skill that might be learned or a cruel accident of birth? Is reflection conducive to happiness or an obstacle to it? If, as a favorite philosopher of Helens puts it, "the only serious enterprise is living," how should we live?

Rich in subtle human insight, full of poignant and often funny portraits, and vivid with a sense of place, James Woods Upstate is a powerful, intense, beautiful novel.

About author

Wood is a book critic at The New Yorker and the recipient of a National Magazine Award in criticism. He is the author of essay collections, the novel The Book Against God, and the study How Fiction Works. He is a professor of the practice of literary criticism at Harvard University.

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