According to his obituary, Wesley Sultan died at the age of 63, leaving behind three children, a wife, an ex-wife, a brother, a sister, and a life-long business career. According to his obituary, Wesley Sultan led a quiet, respectable, and unremarkable life. Our narrator, however, is about to discover that nothing could be further from the truth.
Using Sultan’s obituary as a road map to the unknown terrain of the man himself, our narrator discovers dead-ends, wrong turns, and unexpected destinations in every line. As he travels from the bleak Michigan winter to the steamy streets of Miami to the idyllic French countryside, in search of those who knew Wesley best, he gradually reconstructs the life of an exceptionally handsome, ambitious, and deceptive man to whom women were everything. And as the margins of the obituary fill with handwritten corrections, as details emerge and facts are revised, our mysterious narrator–whose interest in his quarry is far from random–has no choice but to confront the truth of his own life as well.
About the Author
Brad Leithauser was born in Detroit and graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He is the author of five novels, a novel in verse, four previous volumes of poetry, a collection of light verse, and a book of essays. Among his many awards and honors are a Guggenheim Fellowship, an Ingram Merrill Grant, and a MacArthur Fellowship. An Emily Dickinson Senior Lecturer in the Humanities at Mount Holyoke College, he lives with his wife in Amherst, Massachusetts. In 2005, the president of Iceland inducted him into the Order of the Falcon for his writings about Nordic literature.
"From the Hardcover edition."
"Beautifully drawn with the quiet assurance of the master builder. . . . Leithauser is a writer of prodigious gifts." —Baltimore Sun
“A pleasure to read, full of deft touches and quirky insights.” —Los Angeles Times
"A tour de force in narrative construction. . . . Leithauser has a poet's eye for defining details. . . . [He] demonstrates the craftsmanship of a master . . . and displays such bravado that it is a delight to see him at work. . . . Throughout, [he] displays an enviable control over his material, with a magician’s feel for what to reveal and when.” —The Washington Post Book World