Into the Great Wide Open (Paperback)

By Kevin Canty

Vintage, 9780679776529, 256pp.

Publication Date: September 30, 1997

Advertisement

Description

Building on the success of A Stranger in This World, the widely praised collection of stories that was one of the most exciting literary debuts of recent years, Kevin Canty has written a blistering, unforgettable first novel. Set in the sprawl of suburbia, with its shattered families and hollow lives, Into the Great Wide Open is the story of two young people fleeing their families' emotional abandonment to find refuge in each other.

Smart but scarred, Kenny Kolodny yearns to awake from the nightmare of his smashed-up family: his mother is in an institution and forever away; his father is an abusive alcoholic; his brother lives abroad. Seventeen and alone, he hangs on the periphery of his world, until he makes a passionate connection with the troubled, beautiful, fiercely independent Junie Williamson. Kenny discovers in their highly charged, intensely erotic relationship a reality--and a capacity for caring--he has not known before.

In prose startling for its diamond-hard edges and bravura lyricism, Kevin Canty revives the heady carnival of adolescence, evoking its confusing emotional landscape and its heightened sensuality, too soon lost. Into the Great Wide Open is a haunting, mesmerizing novel by a writer of deep sensitivity and undeniable talent.


About the Author

Kevin Canty is the award-winning author of the novels Into the Great Wide Open, Nine Below Zero, and Winslow in Love, as well as the short story collections Honeymoon and Other Stories, A Stranger in This World, and Where the Money Went. His most recent book is The Underworld: A Novel, published in 2017. His work has been published in The New Yorker, Esquire, GQ, Details, Story, The New York Times Magazine, Tin House, and Glimmer Train. He currently teaches fiction writing at the University of Montana.


Praise For Into the Great Wide Open

Praise for Kevin Canty and A Stranger in This World

“Superb. . . . These tautly structured stories breathe with sharp, distilled intelligence, mingling recognition with surprise.” —New York Times Book Review

“These are lean, powerful stories, which is not to say they are lacking in tenderness. Canty knows how to hurt us the way Flannery O’Connor did.” —Los Angeles Times Book Review

Advertisement