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From the author of the PEN/Faulkner Award–winning debut novel Preparation for the Next Life, a gripping, tender, unforgettable story about fathers and sons, regret and redemption
Corey Goltz grows up in the working-class outskirts of Boston as the only child of Gloria, whose ambitions were derailed early but who has always given her son everything she can. Corey, restless, dreams of leaving home for a great adventure.
Instead, when he is fifteen, the world comes crashing down upon him, when Gloria is diagnosed with ALS and, too late, his estranged father, Leonard—a man of great charisma but dubious moral character—reenters the picture. Determined to be his mother’s hero at any cost, Corey begins shouldering responsibility for her expensive medical care, pushing himself to his physical and emotional limits as her disease cruelly progresses. And as Leonard’s influence over Corey grows, Corey must dismantle the myth of his father’s genius and confront the evil that lurks beneath it.
Gritty, visceral, and profoundly stirring, The War for Gloria tells the story of a young man, straddling childhood and adulthood, whose yearning to protect his mother requires him to risk destroying his father. An indelible work from a strikingly original voice in American fiction.
About the Author
ATTICUS LISH is the author of Preparation for the Next Life, which won the 2015 Pen/Faulkner Award for Fiction and the 2016 Grand Prix de Littérature Américaine.
“Unflinching and heartbreaking . . . Lish imbues the male characters’ varied pitches of toxic masculinity with great sadness, smoothing the edges off their macho posturing, and he writes with devastating empathy of Gloria’s highs and lows. This is a tremendous achievement.”
—Publishers Weekly [starred review]