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  • ISBN: 9780141002002
  • ISBN10: 014100200X

The Royal Family

by William T. Vollmann

  • List Price: $20.00
  • Binding: Paperback
  • Publisher: Penguin USA
  • Publish date: 08/01/2001
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Description: Here, from one of the most talented authors of his generation, is a vivid and forgettable novel about the eerie paradoxes of possession and loss. Henry Tyler is a failing private detective in San Francisco. When the love of his life, a traditional Korean-American girl named Irene -- who happens to be married to his brother John -- commits suicide, he clings despairingly to her ghost. Struggling to turn grief and guilt into something precious, he employs his professional skills to track down the Queen of the Prostitutes, who gives him first a "false Irene" and then herself. While Henry lives his sordid new life of nightmare beauty, John defends himself against Irene's memory by means of stoic blindness. He is an ambitious young contract lawyer, and one of his projects is to draw up the contracts for a mysterious establishment in Las Vegas called Feminine Circus, whose proprietor just happens to be hunting for the Queen. In its angry spirituality, its satire and its carefully observed depictions of everything from office politics and expense account lunches to hobo camps, sleazy bars, and street life, The Royal Family marks Vollmann's farthest reaching effort yet to explore the meaning of kinship, both social and biological.
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