Crooked River Burning
By Mark Winegardner
(Mariner Books, Paperback, 9780156014229, 592pp.)
Publication Date: October 2001
Other Editions of This Title: Hardcover
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The critically acclaimed novel of a compelling love affair and the decline of a once prosperous city .
The birthplace of rock 'n' roll, Cleveland was an economic powerhouse and America's sixth-largest city in the late 1940s. By 1969, it had dropped to twelfth. In the summer of 1948, fourteen-year-old David Zielinsky can look forward to a job at the docks, the only way to make a living on his side of the city. Across the river is twelve-year-old Anne O'Connor, daughter of the reigning political boss of Cuyahoga County. In this richly entertaining novel, the two will meet and fall in love, and for twenty turbulent years, as Cleveland falls from grace, they will be consumed by a fiery, star-crossed romance. A natural-born storyteller, Mark Winegardner charts the demise of this fascinating city, artfully weaving in such real-life Clevelanders as Eliot Ness, Alan Freed, and Carl Stokes. A saga reminiscent of the best writing of E. L. Doctorow, Tom Wolfe, and John Dos Passos, Crooked River Burning is masterfully crafted and vastly entertaining-a great American novel in the truest sense.
Mark Winegardner is the author of the novel The Veracruz Blues and three books of nonfiction. A regular contributor to GQ, he has also published work in the New York Times Magazine, Playboy, Esquire, Ploughshares, TriQuarterly, Doubletake, and other magazines. He is a professor of English and director of the Creative Writing Program at Florida State University in Tallahassee, where he lives with his wife and daughter.
Brilliant . . . What gives the book its edge is its setting: Cleveland. Winegardner weaves the love story through the fabric of a tumultuous era."
-the new york times book review
Dos Passos's classic trilogy U.S.A. now has a rival, in this richly plotted,
consistently engrossing big novel."-Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
Crooked River Burning brings Cleveland's past to life on both an intimate and a sweeping scale. . . . But [Winegardner's] main achievement is narrative voice . . . that's distinctly his own."-Los Angeles Times