Tom Perrotta in Town

September 2, 2011

Tom Perrotta will be reading from his latest, the Leftovers, at the Elliott Bay Book Company Monday, September 12th at 7:00 pm.  I plan to go.  Let me know if you’re a fan and want to go with, though this one is a thematic departure from his previous works. 

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What if the Rapture happens, leaving behind a few? Or what if it wasn’t the Rapture at all, but something murkier, a burst of mysterious, apparently random disappearances that shattered the world in a single moment, dividing history into Before and After, leaving no one unscathed? “The Leftovers” is a startling, thought-provoking novel about love, connection, and loss from the “New York Times”-bestselling author of “The Abstinence Teacher” and “Little Children.” 

Prior Novels by Perrotta

Election

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 Who really cares who gets elected President of Winwood High School? Nobody–except Tracy Flick. Tracy’s one of those students of boundless energy and ambition who somehow finds the time to do everything–edit the school paper, star in the musical, sleep with her favorite teacher. Her heart is set on becoming President of Winwood, and what Tracy wants, Tracy gets. With weeks to go before election day, her victory is nearly a foregone conclusion. And that’s just the problem, according to Mr. M–a.k.a. Jim McAllister, faculty advisor to the Student Government Association and a popular Winwood history teacher. In the name of democracy–not to mention a simmering grudge against Tracy Flick–Mr. M recruits the perfect opposition candidate…Part satire, part soap opera, Election is an uncommon look at an ordinary American high school, and the extraordinary people who inhabit it. 

The Abstinence Teacher

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 Stonewood Heights is the perfect place to raise kids. It’s got the proverbial good schools, solid values and a healthy real estate market. It’s the kind of place where parents are involved in their children’s lives, where no opportunity for enrichment goes unexplored. Ruth Ramsey is the human sexuality teacher at the local high school. She believes that “pleasure is good, shame is bad, and knowledge is power. ” Ruth’s younger daughter’s soccer coach is Tim Mason, a former stoner and rocker whose response to hitting rock bottom was to reach out and be saved. Tim belongs to The Tabernacle, an evangelical Christian church that doesn’t approve of Ruth’s style of teaching. And Ruth in turn doesn’t applaud The Tabernacle’s mission to take its message outside its doors. Adversaries in a small-town culture war, Ruth and Tim instinctively mistrust each other. But when a controversy on the soccer field pushes the two of them to actually talk to each other, they are forced to take each other at something other than face value. The Abstinence Teacher exposes the powerful emotions that run beneath the surface of modern American family life and explores the complex spiritual and sexual lives of ordinary people. Elegantly written, it is characterized by the distinctive mix of satire and compassion that have animated Perrotta’s previous novels.

 Posted by Darren

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