Book - 1994
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Mohawk, New York, is one of those small towns that lie almost entirely on the wrong side of the tracks. Its citizens, too, have fallen on hard times. Dallas Younger, a star athlete in high school, now drifts from tavern to poker game, losing money, and, inevitably, another set of false teeth. His ex-wife, Anne, is stuck in a losing battle with her mother over the care of her sick father. And their son, Randall, is deliberately neglecting his school work--because in a place like Mohawk it doesn't pay to be too smart.

In Mohawk , Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Richard Russo, explores these lives with profound compassion and flint-hard wit. Out of derailed ambitions and old loves, secret hatreds and communal myths, he has created a richly plotted, densely populated, and wonderfully written novel that captures every nuance of America's backyard.

Publisher: New York : Vintage Books, 1994, c1986.
Edition: Vintage Contemporaries ed.
ISBN: 9780679753827
Call Number: RUSSO
Characteristics: 418 p. ; 21 cm
Subjects: City and town life -- New York (State) -- Fiction.


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Sep 17, 2014

Like Faulkner, Richard Russo found his "postage stamp of native soil" and has been diligently working it for the past three decades. Recalling Dickens, Balzac, and John Irving, Russo specializes in small, depressed towns in upstate New York, many of which were dependent on an industry that has now vanished (paper, leather work). His characters are a bit eccentric, a bit hard luck, but they are survivors and Russo treats them with great sympathy, wit, and subtlety. And it's these qualities that prevent his novels from being merely glum realism about the failures of families and late century capitalism. This is his first novel from 1986 and will be familiar and appealing to those who have read his better known books like "Empire Falls" and "Nobody's Fool."


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