The Splendid Things We Planned

The Splendid Things We Planned

A Family Portrait

By Blake Bailey

W. W. Norton & Company, Hardcover, 9780393239577, 254pp.

Publication Date: March 3, 2014

Meet the Baileys: Burck, a prosperous lawyer once voted the American Legion's Citizen of the Year in his tiny hometown of Vinita, Oklahoma; his wife Marlies, who longs to recapture her festive life in Greenwich Village as a pretty young German immigrant, fresh off the boat; their addled son Scott, who repeatedly crashes the family Porsche; and Blake, the younger son, trying to find a way through the storm. You re gonna be just like me, a drunken Scott taunts him. You re gonna be worse.

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, Blake Bailey has been hailed as addictively readable (New York Times) and praised for his ability to capture lives compellingly and in harrowing detail (Time). The Splendid Things We Planned is his darkly funny account of growing up in the shadow of an erratic and increasingly dangerous brother, an exhilarating and sometimes harrowing story that culminates in one unforgettable Christmas.

About the Author
Blake Bailey is the author of biographies of John Cheever, Richard Yates, and Charles Jackson and is the authorized biographer of Philip Roth. He lives in Virginia, where he is the Mina Hohenberg Darden Professor of Creative Writing at Old Dominion University.

Saturday, Mar 1, 2014

Blake Bailey has written about John Cheever and Richard Yates � now, he's describing real-life suburban alcoholic despair in a memoir of his troubled brother, The Splendid Things We Planned. More at

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