In the Land of the Living

A Novel
By Austin Ratner (Trade Paperback, 2014)
"IN THE LAND OF THE LIVING made me laugh out loud, and it also left me deeply moved."--John Burnham Schwartz, author of Reservation Road and Northwest Corner

Isidore is a brilliant man, driven in equal measure by grief at his young mother's death, rage at his distant, abusive father, and his own fierce ambitions. When Isidore becomes a doctor, and a father himself, the cycle of grief continues. His son Leo is left behind too young, and also grows to be a doctor.

The story becomes Leo's, an alternately heartbreaking and hilarious account of his cross-country road trip with his younger brother as they try to understand their family, their relationship, and their own futures. An appealingly oddball character, angry at the world but angrier at himself, Leo yearns for love and simple satisfaction. Through his eyes we see the power of family both to destroy and to create, and the price and rewards of independence.

  • Little, Brown and Company
    • Format: Trade Paperback

    • Price: $15.00 US/$17.00 CAN

    • ISBN-13: 9780316206082

    • On Sale Date: 03/25/2014

    • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

    Formats Available: Hardcover Book, Trade Paperback, Electronic Book

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"IN THE LAND OF THE LIVING made me laugh out loud, and it also left me deeply moved."--John Burnham Schwartz, author of Reservation Road and Northwest Corner

Isidore is a brilliant man, driven in equal measure by grief at his young mother's death, rage at his distant, abusive father, and his own fierce ambitions. When Isidore becomes a doctor, and a father himself, the cycle of grief continues. His son Leo is left behind too young, and also grows to be a doctor.

The story becomes Leo's, an alternately heartbreaking and hilarious account of his cross-country road trip with his younger brother as they try to understand their family, their relationship, and their own futures. An appealingly oddball character, angry at the world but angrier at himself, Leo yearns for love and simple satisfaction. Through his eyes we see the power of family both to destroy and to create, and the price and rewards of independence.

Austin Ratner's first novel, The Jump Artist, was the 2011 winner of the Rohr Prize for Jewish Literature. His work has appeared in the New York Times Magazine and has been honored with the Missouri Review Editors' Prize in Fiction. He attended the University of Iowa Writers' Workshop. Before turning his focus to writing he received his M.D. from Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and he is co-author of the textbook Concepts in Medical Physiology. He is Clinical Assistant Professor of Preventive Medicine at the Stony Brook University School of Medicine. He grew up in Cleveland, OH, and now lives in Brooklyn, NY, with his wife and two sons.
  • PRAISE FOR IN THE LAND OF THE LIVING:

    "In the Land of the Living made me laugh out loud, and it also left me deeply moved.  Part vaudeville and part tragic opera, it dances and rages with uncommon wisdom, conveying the pain, comedy, and beauty of familial love across the generations." (John Burnham Schwartz, author of Reservation Road and Northwest Corner).

  • PRAISE FOR THE JUMP ARTIST:

    "A remarkable work ... [that] documents a triumph of the human spirit over tremendous adversity." (Harper's Magazine).

  • "This elegantly-written tribute makes as beautiful a use of the darkness and light of one man's life as a Halsman photograph of a pretty young woman." (GQ).

  • "An arresting psychological fiction." (Cleveland Plain Dealer).

  • "Transcend[s] the bounds of historical fiction." (Booklist).

  • "Ratner knows how to use rhythms and metaphors to evoke a sensory, psychologically grounded reality that writers with vastly more experience than him would envy.... [a] subtle, moving novel." (The Forward).

Formats

Product Details

In the Land of the Living
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
  • Price: $15.00 US/$17.00 CAN
  • Pages: 336
  • Physical Dimensions: 5-1/2" x 8-1/4"
  • ISBN-13: 9780316206082
  • On Sale Date: 03/25/2014
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