One For Sorrow
By Christopher Barzak
(Bantam, Paperback, 9780553384369, 320pp.)
Publication Date: August 28, 2007
Categories: Coming of Age
Part thriller, part ghost tale, part love story, One for Sorrow is a novel as timeless as The Catcher in the Rye and as hauntingly lyrical as The Lovely Bones. Christopher Barzak’s stunning debut tells of a teenage boy’s coming-of-age that begins with a shocking murder and ends with a reason to hope.
Adam McCormick had just turned fifteen when the body was found in the woods. It is the beginning of an autumn that will change his life forever. Jamie Marks was a boy a lot like Adam, a boy no one paid much attention to—a boy almost no one would truly miss. And for the first time, Adam feels he has a purpose. Now, more than ever, Jamie needs a friend.
But the longer Adam holds on to Jamie’s ghost, the longer he keeps his friend tethered to a world where he no longer belongs…and the weaker Adam’s own ties to the living become. Now, to find his way back, Adam must learn for himself what it truly means to be alive.
Christopher Barzak was born and raised in rural Ohio, has lived in a southern California beach town, the capital of Michigan and the suburbs of Tokyo, Japan, where he taught English in rural junior high and elementary schools. His stories have appeared in many venues, including Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet, Trampoline, Interfictions, Nerve, Salon Fantastique and The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror. Currently he lives in Youngstown, Ohio, where he teaches writing at Youngstown State University. One for Sorrow is his first novel.
“Christopher Barzak's sympathy and humor, his awareness, his easeful vernacular storytelling, are extraordinary, and his mournful, unforgettable teenagers drive us deep into the land of the dead practically before we've even fastened our seatbelts.”—Jonathan Lethem, author of Motherless Brooklyn
“An amazing, original debut from an amazing, original writer. One for Sorrow may be the most haunting ghost story I've ever read.”—Karen Joy Fowler, author of The Jane Austen Book Club
"An uncommonly good book with brains, heart, and bravery to spare. Readers who don't find themselves in sympathy with Barzak's characters were never adolescents themselves."—Kelly Link, author of Magic for Beginners
"An honest and uncanny ride through the shadows between grief and acceptance. This is how real magic works." —Scott Westerfeld, author of Uglies and Extras