Empire Falls

Richard Russo

Empire Falls
United Kingdom
7 April 2002

Empire Falls

Richard Russo

Richard Russo - from his first novel, Mohawk, to his most\nrecent, Straight Man-has demonstrated a peerless affinity\nfor the human tragicomedy, and with this stunning new novel -\nwinner of the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for fiction - he extends even\nfurther his claims on the small-town, blue-collar heart of the\ncountry. Dexter County, Maine, and specifically the town of Empire\nFalls, has seen better days, and for decades, in fact, only a\nsuccession from bad to worse. Miles Roby gazes over this ruined\nkingdom from the Empire Grill. Called back from college and set to\nwork by family obligations - his mother ailing, his father a loose\ncannon - Miles never left home again. Even so, his own obligations\nare manifold: a pending divorce; a troubled younger brother; and,\nnot least, a peculiar partnership in the failing grill with none\nother than Mrs. Whiting. All of these, though, are offset by his\ndaughter, Tick, whom he guides gently and proudly through the\ntribulations of adolescence. A decent man encircled by history and\ndreams, by echoing churches and abandoned mills, by the comforts\nand feuds provided by lifelong friends and neighbours, Miles is\nalso a patient, knowing guide to the rich, hardscrabble nature of\n_Empire Falls_: fathers and sons and daughters, living and\ndead, rich and poor alike.


Shot through with the mysteries of generations and the\nshattering visitations of the nation at large, it is a social novel\nof panoramic ambition, yet at the same time achingly personal. In\nthe end, Empire Falls reveals our worst and best instincts,\nboth our most appalling nightmares and our simplest hopes, with all\nthe vision, grace and humanity of truly epic storytelling.


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