Summer might traditionally be the time for skimpy clothes and skimpy reading, but if your brain is feeling flabby after beach reads with titles like Big Girl Panties — not that there’s anything wrong with those — give & Sons by David Gilbert (out July 23) a try.
Drawing comparisons to The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach and The Emperor’s Children by Claire Messud, & Sons follows the life of A.N. Dyer, a reclusive J.D. Salinger-like figure whose novel Ampersand stands a classic of American teenage angst. As Andrew Newbold Dyer delivers the eulogy at his oldest friend Charles Henry Topping’s Upper East Side funeral, he suffers a breakdown over the life he’s led and the people he’s hurt and the novel that will forever endure as his legacy. He must gather his three sons for the first time in many years — before it’s too late.
So begins a wild, transformative week, as witnessed by Philip Topping, who, like his late father, finds himself caught up in the swirl of the Dyer family. First there’s son Richard, a struggling screenwriter and father, returning from self-imposed exile in California. In the middle lingers Jamie, settled in Brooklyn after his 20-year mission of making documentaries about human suffering. And last is Andy, the half brother whose mysterious birth tore the Dyers apart 17 years ago, now in New York on spring break, determined to lose his virginity before returning to the prestigious New England boarding school that inspired Ampersand. But only when the real purpose of this reunion comes to light do these sons realize just how much is at stake, not only for their father but for themselves and three generations of their family.
Intrigued? Check out this exclusive trailer for & Sons, which features friends, admirers, publishing pros, and celebrities — including Brooke Shields — talking about their favorite A.N. Dyer novel.
These fictional novel titles are brilliant, like fake movie titles from Seinfeld. My favorite is American Ligature. What’s your favorite A.N. Dyer novel?
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