Growing up wild in the 1970s, Nik was always the artist, always in a band. His beloved sister Denise was his most passionate fan. But now Denise watches as Nik retreats into a strange and private world of his own creation, leaving her to navigate the real world on her own. When her daughter, Ada, decides to make a film of Nik's life and work, and ...
Growing up wild in the 1970s, Nik was always the artist, always in a band. His beloved sister Denise was his most passionate fan. But now Denise watches as Nik retreats into a strange and private world of his own creation, leaving her to navigate the real world on her own. When her daughter, Ada, decides to make a film of Nik's life and work, and tragedy strikes very close to home, Denise must try to make sense of what it means to be a sister, a daughter and a mother. Evocative, honest and fiercely original, Stone Arabia is about how we become the adults we are. It's a story of family, obsession, memory and the urge to create, no matter what.
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Most prospective readers will be puzzled by the title of this novel. If one drives in an area of central New York State not too far from Utica, one might--- as I once did--- pass a sign for the small town with this odd name. Peculiarly, although it figures a bit in the development of this fine novel, it is hardly central to it. No matter. Ms Spiotta is a writer of rare gifts. I preferred her earlier novel, Eat The Document, a fictional account of a fugitive radical, and thus a more richly textured story, but I would quickly pick up any book of hers. Unusually good fiction.
Publishers Weekly, 2011-04-04 Spiotta's extraordinary new novel is an inspired consideration of sibling devotion, Southern California, and fame. Nik Worth is a reclusive musician in his late 40s at the tail end of his "blase and phlegmatic glamour," who once almost made it big. But as he careens toward 50, he begins to retreat into a private world, living in his tiny "hermitage" apartment, recording a multivolume series called the Ontology of Worth, and assembling the Chronicles, a scrapbooked alternate history of his career, complete with fake news clippings, doctored photographs, and reviews. Nik's primary links to the world, and biggest fans, are his devoted younger sister, Denise, and to a lesser extent, her daughter, Ada. But when Ada begins a documentary probing her uncle's "whole constructed lifeology thingy" just as the inner logic of Nik's "chronicled" life unspools, Nik and Denise are plunged into a crisis. With her novel's clever structure, jaundiced affection for Los Angeles, and diamond-honed prose, Spiotta (National Book Award finalist for Eat the Document) delivers one of the most moving and original portraits of a sibling relationship in recent fiction. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
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