Empire FallsRichard Russo
5 January 2017
Published by Allen & Unwin
WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE FOR FICTION
Miles Roby has been slinging burgers at the Empire Grill for 20 years, a job that cost him his college education and much of his self-respect. What keeps him there? It could be his bright, sensitive daughter Tick, who needs all his help surviving the local high school. Or maybe it’s Janine, Miles’ soon-to-be ex-wife, who’s taken up with a noxiously vain health-club proprietor. Or perhaps it’s the imperious Francine Whiting, who owns everything in town – and seems to believe that ‘everything’ includes Miles himself.
In Empire Falls Richard Russo delves deep into the blue-collar heart of America in a work that overflows with hilarity, heartache, and grace.
I loved Richard Russo's Pulitzer-winning Empire Falls, a moving, brilliantly imagined and intensely satisfying novel about the slow death of a small town: Russo's characters are as loveable and as exasperating as family.Nick Hornby
Like Anne Tyler, Russo is interested in how people rub along; in kindness and responsibility; in cutting slack without being asked. In the Empire Grill he has created a place so involving that not only can you see and smell it, but you start to feel a bit left out of the gin rummy. Russo makes an enormous job of story-telling look effortless. He is, in all the best senses of the word, a natural.
Richard Russo can write like Edith Wharton leavened with a touch of David Lodge.
Russo's command of his story is unerring... He satisfies every expectation without lapsing into predictability, and the last section of the book explodes with surprises...One of the best novelists around.
New York Times