Long Island Compromise: A Novel (Hardcover)

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An exhilarating novel about one American family, the dark moment that shatters their suburban paradise, and the wild legacy of trauma and inheritance, from the New York Times bestselling author of Fleishman Is in Trouble

“Were we gangsters? No. But did we know how to start a fire?”

In 1980, a wealthy businessman named Carl Fletcher is kidnapped from his driveway, brutalized, and held for ransom. He is returned to his wife and kids less than a week later, only slightly the worse, and the family moves on with their lives, resuming their prized places in the saga of the American dream, comforted in the realization that though their money may have been what endangered them, it is also what assured them their safety.

But now, nearly forty years later, it’s clear that perhaps nobody ever got over anything, after all. Carl has spent the ensuing years secretly seeking closure to the matter of his kidnapping, while his wife, Ruth, has spent her potential protecting her husband’s emotional health. Their three grown children aren’t doing much better: Nathan’s chronic fear won’t allow him to advance at his law firm; Beamer, a Hollywood screenwriter, will consume anything—substance, foodstuff, women—in order to numb his own perpetual terror; and Jenny has spent her life so bent on proving that she’s not a product of her family’s pathology that she has come to define it. As they hover at the delicate precipice of a different kind of survival, they learn that the family fortune has dwindled to just about nothing, and they must face desperate questions about how much their wealth has played a part in both their lives’ successes and failures.

Long Island Compromise spans the entirety of one family’s history, winding through decades and generations, all the way to the outrageous present, and confronting the mainstays of American Jewish life: tradition, the pursuit of success, the terror of history, fear of the future, old wives’ tales, evil eyes, ambition, achievement, boredom, dybbuks, inheritance, pyramid schemes, right-wing capitalists, beta-blockers, psychics, and the mostly unspoken love and shared experience that unite a family forever.

About the Author

Taffy Brodesser-Akner is a staff writer for The New York Times Magazine and the New York Times bestselling author of Fleishman Is in Trouble, which has been translated into more than a dozen languages. She is also the creator and executive producer of its Emmy-nominated limited series adaptation for FX. Long Island Compromise is her second novel.

Praise For…

Praise for Taffy Brodesser-Akner’s Fleishman Is in Trouble

“Believe the hype. Fleishman Is in Trouble is even better than we were promised. . . . A feminist jeremiad nested inside a brilliant comic novel—a book that makes you laugh so hard you don’t notice till later that your eyebrows have been singed off.”The Washington Post

“In her witty and well-observed debut, Taffy Brodesser-Akner updates the miserable-matrimony novel, dropping it squarely in our times. . . . Brodesser-Akner has written a potent, upsetting and satisfying novel, illustrating how the marital pledge—build our life together—overlooks a key fact: There are two lives.”The New York Times Book Review

“Brodesser-Akner . . . writes with a thrilling swagger. . . . She does not so much craft prose as notate brainwaves.”The New Yorker

“Everybody I know loves reading Taffy Brodesser-Akner. . . . A maddening, unsettling masterpiece.”—NPR

“Enthralling . . . a cutting sociological dissection of the way we live.”Rolling Stone

“The Taffy Brodesser-Akner trick, the thing that makes her profiles so clear-eyed and important, the thing that lifts her divorce novel head and shoulders above so many others in its genre: She is always willing to extend her empathy to people we are trained to believe are not worthy of our consideration. She is always willing to treat them as real people.”Vox

“Brodesser-Akner proves herself also a master of startlingly true invention in her enthralling, affirming debut of midlife, marital, and existential despair. . . . Shrewd and delectable, this would be a novel to savor, if it were possible to put down.”Booklist (starred review)
Product Details
ISBN: 9780593133491
ISBN-10: 0593133498
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: July 9th, 2024
Pages: 464
Language: English