Harvard Book Store welcomes JAMI ATTENBERG—bestselling author of The Middlesteins and All Grown Up—for a discussion of her anticipated new novel, All This Could Be Yours. She will be joined in conversation by acclaimed local writer LAURA VAN DEN BERG.
“If I know why he is the way he is then maybe I can learn why I am the way I am,” says Alex Tuchman, strong-headed lawyer, loving mother, and daughter of Victor Tuchman—a power-hungry real estate developer and, by all accounts, a bad man. Now that Victor is on his deathbed, Alex feels she can finally unearth the secrets of who he is and what he did over the course of his life and career. She travels to New Orleans to be with her family, but mostly to interrogate her tightlipped mother, Barbra.
As Barbra fends off Alex’s unrelenting questions, she reflects on her tumultuous life with Victor. Meanwhile Gary, Alex’s brother, is incommunicado, trying to get his movie career off the ground in Los Angeles. And Gary’s wife, Twyla, is having a nervous breakdown, buying up all the lipstick in drug stores around New Orleans and bursting into crying fits. Dysfunction is at its peak. As each family member grapples with Victor’s history, they must figure out a way to move forward—with one another, for themselves, and for the sake of their children.
All This Could Be Yours is a timely, piercing exploration of what it means to be caught in the web of a toxic man who abused his power; it shows how those webs can tangle a family for generations and what it takes to—maybe, hopefully—break free. With her signature “sparkling prose” (Marie Claire) and pitch-perfect wit, Jami Attenberg deftly explores one of the most important subjects of our age.
“An ambitious and utterly delectable novel about families and their secrets that opens up, pleasurably, like a set of nesting dolls.” —Kelly Link, author of Get In Trouble
“Jami Attenberg’s work is so deeply attuned to humans and our imperfect attempts to love each other. All This Could Be Yours is populated by Attenberg’s pitch-perfect characters; flawed, recognizable people dealing with big topics—death, family, sex, love—and Attenberg handles it all with an expert touch and a keen sense of what, despite all the sadness and secrets, keeps people connected, striving for moments of beauty and tenderness in a dark world.”
—Emma Cline, author of The Girls
“In alternating voices, Attenberg expertly weaves together a chorus of love, betrayal and inheritance, each chapter a prism turned, revealing a new spectrum of secrets. Interspersed are gorgeous excavations into fleeting moments with strangers—the checkout clerks and ferry conductors passing through our lives—connecting this singular family into the larger web of life, where everyone is worthy of understanding and no one is without a soul.” —Hannah Tinti, author of The Twelve Lives of Samuel Hawley
Certain books were “banned in Boston” at least as far back as 1651, when one William Pynchon wrote a book criticizing Puritanism.