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The Summer Friend by Charles McGrath
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The Summer Friend by Charles McGrath
Hardcover $25.00
Jun 07, 2022 | ISBN 9780593321157

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  • Jun 07, 2022 | ISBN 9780593321157

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“[An] affecting memoir…The book’s prevailing spirit is wholly life-affirming. It is in the fullness with which things large and small are rendered…in all their humorous specificity that makes memorable what might be called the moral of the tale—that “summer can happen almost anywhere.”
—William H. Pritchard, The Wall Street Journal

“To read Chip McGrath’s gentle, elegant memoir The Summer Friend, is to lose yourself in your own past summers, especially the ones of your youth, when you imagined there’d be an infinite number of them, and also friends to share those summers with.  That both turn out to be numbered makes this book positively ache with beauty and loss.”
Richard Russo

“The main character of this unusual memoir isn’t the author; the hero of this story is the author’s best friend, a cancer victim.  I love the novelistic details—cancer is imagined as a monster who comes back, as nightmares do. This is an indelible memoir —a lasting tribute to an enduring friendship.”
John Irving

“How can anyone write so pretty without even seeming to try? You don’t so much read this memoir as you just seem to draw it in, breathe it in, with all the smells and tastes of summer, and friendship, and being young … beautifully young. In these pages, without there seeming to be a wasted word, we sail a Beetle named Loon and go to sleep in a summer house without one level floor. We learn how smashing glass at a town dump can set you free, and why it is more satisfying, sometimes, to buy your fireworks from an Italian who is packing heat.”
Rick Bragg

“A long friendship stirs a meditation on summertime in this tender elegy… McGrath’s prose unspools like a long summer day, full of excursions that set out in vague directions and arrive at delightful places brimming with exuberant sensations… Through his glowing, retrospective lens, McGrath captures life at its most carefree and meaningful.”
–Publishers Weekly, starred

“In his debut memoir, McGrath, a former editor of the New York Times Book Review and former deputy editor of the New Yorker, wistfully reflects on New England vacations… The author recalls the thrill of bridge-jumping into water 30 feet down; making fireworks runs and setting them off on the 4th of July; and ‘messing about in boats’ of all kinds… The narrative takes on a bittersweet character when the author finds out that his 57-year-old friend has prostate cancer… A warmhearted memoir imbued with a comfortable, old-fashioned, sweet ambience.”

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