For readers of Rules of Civility and The Marriage Plot, Joanna Hershon's A Dual Inheritance is an engrossing novel of passion, friendship, betrayal, and class-and their reverberations across generations. Autumn 1962: Ed Cantowitz and Hugh Shipley meet in their final year at Harvard. Ed is far removed from Hugh's privileged upbringing as a Boston Brahmin, yet his drive and ambition outpace Hugh's ambivalence about his own life. These two young men form an unlikely friendship, bolstered by a fierce shared desire to transcend their circumstances. But in just a few short years, not only do their paths diverge-one rising on Wall Street, the other becoming a kind of global humanitarian-but their friendship ends abruptly, with only one of them understanding why. Can a friendship define your view of the world? Spanning from the Cuban Missile Crisis to the present-day stock market collapse, with locations as diverse as Dar es Salaam, Boston, Shenzhen, and Fishers Island, A Dual Inheritance asks this question, as it follows not only these two men, but the complicated women in their vastly different lives. And as Ed and Hugh grow farther and farther apart, they remain uniquely-even surprisingly-connected. Advance praise for A Dual Inheritance "Sharply observed and masterfully constructed, Hershon's fourth novel is her strongest yet, a deft and assured examination of ambition, envy, longing, and kinship.'-Booklist (starred review) "Hershon deftly explores how individuals often sabotage their chances for happiness. . . . The characters in this novel are fully realized, the story moves along at a fast pace, and the author is well informed about her subject. Highly recommended.'-Library Journal (starred review) "[A] searing novel about class, ethnicity, and love . . . The intensely detailed love triangle is reminiscent of an East Coast elite answer to the Midwestern trio of Freedom, but with mere keen observation in place of that other novel's sweeping moral pronouncements. Hershon explores the ways we can, and can't, escape our backgrounds.'-Publishers Weekly (starred review) "A Dual Inheritance is a big, captivating, multigenerational sweep of a romance, ranging from Africa to China to New England's blue-blooded enclaves. With deftness and swagger, Joanna Hershon spins the intertwining of two Harvard men's lives into a searching exploration of class and destiny in late-twentieth-century America.'-Jennifer Egan, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of A Visit from the Goon Squad "Joanna Hershon has written a vivid, elegant novel that deftly roams the decades and the globe in telling a story about friendship, family, and the murky area in between. A Dual Inheritance is a rich and satisfying read.'-Maggie Shipstead, author of Seating Arrangements "Simultaneously a riveting story of two very different families and a portrait of the United States through the boom and bust decades . . . Think of Anne Tyler and Tom Wolfe, both. This marvelous novel is a mix of heartache and history. I just couldn't stop reading, and when it was over I felt sad the experience had ended.'-Victor LaValle, author of The Devil in Silver From the Hardcover edition.
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May 06, 2013
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