American Boy

American Boy
American Boy (back cover)

American Boy

An Esquire Best Book of 2011
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We were exposed to these phenomena in order that we might learn something, but then the lessons we learn are not always those we are taught. . . .

So begins Matthew Garth’s story of the fall of 1962, when the shooting of a young woman on Thanksgiving Day sets off a chain of unsettling events in Willow Falls, Minnesota. Matthew first sees Louisa Lindahl in a doctor’s office, and at the time her bullet wound makes nearly as strong an impression as her unclothed body. Fueled over the following weeks by his feverish longing for this mysterious woman—as well as by a deep desire for the comfort and affluence that appears to surround the doctor’s family—Matthew finds himself drawn into a series of confrontations he never expected, the results of which will change his life irrevocably and give lie to his version of the American dream.

“Powerful and exquisitely crafted” (Chicago Tribune) and “filled with rugged prose” (Washington Post), American Boy is an immersive and heartbreaking read from a great American storyteller.

1960s America, 1960s Minnesota, adolescence, adolescent angst, americana, angst, angsty teenager, bildungsroman, class difference, coming of age novels, first love, historical fiction, literary fiction, love triangle, manhood, older woman, opportunist, sexual awakening, sexual tension, small town America, small town fiction, small town novels, working class teenager
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7.5 × 5.3 × 0.8 in
10 oz
Larry Watson

Larry Watson is the author of numerous novels, including Montana 1948American Boy, As Good As Gone, and Let Him Go, which was adapted into a film by Focus Features and released in 2020. Born in Rugby, North Dakota, he grew up in Bismarck and is now Visiting Professor at Marquette University. He lives in Milwaukee.

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