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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

All I Have in This World
"Part empathetic portrait of troubled souls and part Springsteenian ode to the promise and heartbreak of the highway... told with... emotional complexity and subtlety.”
(The New York Times)

“Two strangers meet on a windswept car lot in West Texas. Marcus is fleeing the disastrous fallout of chasing a lifelong dream; Maria is returning to the hometown she fled years ago, to make amends. They begin to argue over the car that they both desperately want—a low-slung sky-blue twenty-year-old Buick Electra.

The car, too, has seen its share of mistakes and failures. Every dent and seam has witnessed pivotal moments in the lives of others, from the boy who assembled it at the Cleveland factory to all the owners who were to follow: a God-fearing man who sells it when he sees a sexy girl sprawled across it; a doctor who can’t dissociate it from his son’s fate; and a rancher’s wife who’d much rather live without it for all the history it carries.

Marcus and Maria, after knowing each other for less than an hour, decide to buy the old car together. And as this surprising novel follows the rocky paths of the Electra and its owners—both past and present—these two lost souls form an unexpected alliance.
All I Have in This World is a tender novel about our desire to reconcile past mistakes, and the ways we must learn to forgive others, and perhaps even ourselves, if we are ever to move on.” (Algonquin)

“But what makes "All I Have in this World" memorable is this: While any number of disasters can (and do) take place along the way, and while some are heartbreaking, the watershed moments happen not with sadness or blood or pain, but with cascades of laughter. It's through moments of unabashed humor, when Marcus and Maria let go and laugh, that his characters finally, and completely, connect.

Which feels a lot like real life." (
The Denver Post)

“Pre-literate children, it’s told, favor above all else the following narrative: a person (princess, stuffed toy, Matchbox car), wandering the dark woods alone, meets The True Friend (dinosaur, dwarf, dog), and is, whew, rescued. The End. Michael Parker’s All I Have in this World performs a deeply satisfying, non-fantastical yet still magical, hard-won, grown-up version of that child’s confounding and abiding tale. This is a very funny, very moving novel about being lost and then found, about that rarest gift shared sensibility, and about being saved, and surprised, by the arrival of The True Friend. I love this book.”
(Antonya Nelson)

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