The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint
By Brady Udall
(Vintage, Paperback, 9780375719189, 432pp.)
Publication Date: May 21, 2002
List Price: $14.95*
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If I could tell you only one thing about my life it would be this: when I was seven years old the mailman ran over my head. As formative events go, nothing else comes close.
With these words Edgar Mint, half-Apache and mostly orphaned, makes his unshakable claim on our attention. In the course of Brady Udall’s high-spirited, inexhaustibly inventive novel, Edgar survives not just this bizarre accident, but a hellish boarding school for Native American orphans, a well-meaning but wildly dysfunctional Mormon foster-family, and the loss of most of the illusions that are supposed to make life bearable.
What persists is Edgar’s innate goodness, his belief in the redeeming power of language, and his determination to find and forgive the man who almost killed him. The Miracle Life of Edgar Mint is a miracle of storytelling, bursting with heartache and hilarity and inhabited by characters as outsized as the landscape of the American West.
Brady Udall is the author of the much-acclaimed story collection Letting Loose the Hounds, and was a finalist for the New York Public Library's Young Lions Fiction Award. Born and raised in the Indian counry of northeastern Arizona, Udall now teaches fiction writing at Southern Illinois University. He lives in Carbondale with his wife and family.