By Kate Christensen
(Anchor Books, Paperback, 9780307473356, 320pp.)
Publication Date: June 12, 2012
List Price: $15.95*
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In the gentrifying neighborhood of Greenpoint, Brooklyn, rests a huge rose-colored apartment building called The Astral. For decades it was the happy home of the poet Harry Quirk, his wife, Luz, and their two children: Karina, now a fervent freegan, and Hector, now in the clutches of a cultish Christian community. But when Luz finds poems that ignite her long-simmering suspicions of infidelity, Harry is summarily kicked out, leaving him to reckon with the consequence of his literary, marital, and parental failures. With tremendous grace and acute perception, Kate Christensen details Harry’s floundering attempts to find his way back into Luz’s arms—and back to his better self—in a novel that is funny, bittersweet, and terrifically moving.
- Harry Quirk’s obsession with his imploding marriage forms a central arc in The Astral. Do you trust his narrative of the marriage and its dissolution? How does your opinion of him evolve as you read the novel?