Harvard Book Store welcomes Pulitzer Prize-winning author RICHARD RUSSO for a discussion of his latest novel, Chances Are…
One beautiful September day, three men convene on Martha’s Vineyard, friends ever since meeting in college circa the sixties. They couldn’t have been more different then, or even today: Lincoln’s a commercial real estate broker, Teddy a tiny-press publisher, and Mickey a musician beyond his rockin’ age. But each man holds his own secrets, in addition to the monumental mystery that none of them has ever stopped puzzling over since a Memorial Day weekend right here on the Vineyard in 1971: the disappearance of the woman each of them loved—Jacy Calloway.
Now, more than forty years later, as this new weekend unfolds, three lives are displayed in their entirety while the distant past confounds the present like a relentless squall of surprise and discovery. Shot through with Russo’s trademark comedy and humanity, Chances Are… also introduces a new level of suspense and menace that will quicken the reader’s heartbeat throughout this absorbing saga of how friendship’s bonds are every bit as constricting and rewarding as those of family or any other community.
For both longtime fans and lucky newcomers, Chances Are… is a stunning demonstration of a highly acclaimed author deepening and expanding his remarkable achievement.
“[Russo’s] first novel in ten years hits the ball out of the park . . . Along with his wry eye for irony and regret, [Russo] offers up a compelling mystery . . . When the denouement comes, it’s a stunner. Nevertheless, all bombshells feel earned. If you’re on a hammock in the Vineyard or under a tent in Acadia, or slumped over the fire escape of your hot city apartment, chances. . . are awfully good that you’ll lap up this gripping, wise, and wonderful summer treat.” —Mameve Medwed, the Boston Globe
“A cascade of charm . . . Each [character is] so appealing that you hate to let him go, though you’ll quickly feel just as fond of the next one . . . One of the great pleasures of Chances Are…stems from how gracefully Russo moves the story along two time frames, creating that uncanny sense of memories that feel simultaneously near and remote . . . Russo is an undeniably endearing writer, and chances are this story will draw you back to the most consequential moments in your own life.” —Ron Charles, the Washington Post
“A surprising work that is as much a mystery as a meditation on secrets and friendship . . . a moving portrait of aging men who discover the world’s worst-kept secret: You may not know the people you thought you were closest to.” —Michael Magras, BookPage
Certain books were “banned in Boston” at least as far back as 1651, when one William Pynchon wrote a book criticizing Puritanism.