Friday, March 08, 2019

What is Andrew Ridker reading?

Featured at Writers Read: Andrew Ridker, author of The Altruists: A Novel.

His entry begins:
I recently finished Falconer by John Cheever. I’ve long admired Cheever’s short fiction, but Falconer was unlike anything I’d ever read by him—or anyone, for that matter. In theory it’s the story of a man, Ezekiel Farragut, who is sent to jail for murdering his brother. But Cheever is less concerned with crime and punishment as he is the strange assortment of men who populate Falconer State Prison. Many pages of this short novel are given over to anecdotes delivered by the inmates and staff. These mini-stories are remarkable feats of voice, eccentric and yet wholly believable. Cheever was never...[read on]
About The Altruists, from the publisher:
A vibrant and perceptive novel about a father’s plot to win back his children’s inheritance

Arthur Alter is in trouble. A middling professor at a Midwestern college, he can’t afford his mortgage, he’s exasperated his much-younger girlfriend, and his kids won’t speak to him. And then there’s the money–the small fortune his late wife, Francine, kept secret, which she bequeathed directly to his children.

Those children are Ethan, an anxious recluse living off his mother’s money on a choice plot of Brooklyn real estate, and Maggie, a would-be do-gooder trying to fashion herself a noble life of self-imposed poverty. On the verge of losing the family home, Arthur invites his children back to St. Louis under the guise of a reconciliation. But in doing so, he unwittingly unleashes a Pandora’s box of age-old resentments and long-buried memories–memories that orbit Francine, the matriarch whose life may hold the key to keeping them together.

Spanning New York, Paris, Boston, St. Louis, and a small desert outpost in Zimbabwe, The Altruists is a darkly funny (and ultimately tender) family saga that confronts the divide between baby boomers and their millennial offspring. It’s a novel about money, privilege, politics, campus culture, dating, talk therapy, rural sanitation, infidelity, kink, the American beer industry, and what it means to be a “good person.”
Visit Andrew Ridker's website.

Writers Read: Andrew Ridker.

--Marshal Zeringue