In this novel based on real events, Dale Peck takes on the childhood of his father, Dale Peck Sr. Raised in poverty with seven brothers and sisters in suburban Long Island, terrorized by an abusive mother, Dale Sr.’s life changes when his alcoholic father dumps him at his uncle’s dairy farm in upstate New York. There he begins to thri...
In this novel based on real events, Dale Peck takes on the childhood of his father, Dale Peck Sr. Raised in poverty with seven brothers and sisters in suburban Long Island, terrorized by an abusive mother, Dale Sr.’s life changes when his alcoholic father dumps him at his uncle’s dairy farm in upstate New York. There he begins to thrive, finding real love and connection with his Uncle Wallace and Aunt Bess. But he is ultimately unable to outrun the chaos and violence of his old life.
A virtuoso work of great empathy and originality, Greenville is Peck’s most heartfelt and haunted novel to date.
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“[L]eft me wonderfully perplexed: how could so much emotion be crammed into so few pages? How could something so accessible seem so utterly personalized? How could such a traditional form of storytelling evoke such a new set of feelings? I could think of only one place to go for my answers: back to the first page. So that’s where I went. And I bet that’s where you’ll go after reading this terrific book.”
—Jonathan Safran Foer
“Dale Peck may have an ego the size of Montana. He may have annoyed half the known literary world with his screeds on other writers. But he may also be one our most adventurous and singularly talented writers working today.”
—San Francisco Chronicle
“The quality of his fiction is a pleasurable shock if all one’s read is his criticism . . . Peck’s fiction writing is visceral, risky yet controlled, lyrical and—especially in [Greenville]—enormously compassionate. ”
“Every reader knows that time when you simply must close a book in gratitude and breathe in some of the silence it has created. [Greenville] is that sort of book over and over again. This is a meditation on the permanence of glancing moments; an examination of how we tell our stories; a portrait of love and failure; and a hard, fascinating look at the consequences of the bits and pieces of our lives. With ease Peck stretches the boundaries of memoir into the realm of the imagination, and in the end contends that it doesn’t matter how we tell our stories—what matters is that we have them to tell. This is a book of grace and dignity that will be around for a long, long time.”