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Taft
 
 
Author
Ann Patchett.
Publisher Mariner  
Format paperback
Product Dimensions 8 x 5.25 x 0.75 inches
ISBN 9780547521893
Pages/Publication Date 273/2003
Daedalus Item Code 23249
This item is not available.
Description
(Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize Winner) In this 1994 novel by the author of the Orange Prize winner Bel Canto and the Orange Prize finalist The Magician's Assistant, John Nickel is a former jazz musician who now only wants to be a good father. When Nickel's lover leaves him and takes their son with her, all he has left is the Memphis bar he manages. Then he hires Fay, an underage waitress who brings her volatile brother Carl in tow, and Nickel becomes consumed with the idea of Fay and Carl's dead father Taft, and begins to reconstruct the life of this man he never met, but whose place he seems to have taken.

"That Ann Patchett, who is white, should choose a black man as her narrator may raise some eyebrows, but the tone is so steady and strong that the increasingly dangerous surprises delivered here catch up with you every time."—The New Yorker

"When 17-year-old Fay Taft shows up at Muddy's, lies about her age and asks for a job, Nickel is touched by her neediness and hires her. But he doesn't bargain on her growing desire for him, or on her drug-dealer brother, who brings sleazy clients to the bar. Another complication is the issue of race—Fay is white, Nickel black—but the author concentrates on the color-blind moral problems that any family faces. As Nickel contemplates his own predicaments, he imagines scenes of the Tafts in a stable home before their father died. His sincere sense of responsibility—to his son, to Fay, even to Fay's no-good brother—is conveyed with visceral power."—Publishers Weekly

 
 
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