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House of Happy Endings


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About the Author

Leslie Garis, author of House of Happy Endings, has written on literary subjects for many national magazines and newspapers. She is best known for New York Times Magazine profiles of such writers as Georges Simenon, Rebecca West, John Fowles, Harold Pinter, Joan Didion, and Susan Sontag.


"[Garis] deftly works through the evidence, constructing moving and memorable portraits of her family members . . . There is no happy ending to this strange tale, which weaves its spell in the telling." --William Grimes, The New York Times"Anybody who read Uncle Wiggily and The Bobbsey Twins thinking, 'Why isn't my family like that?' will count their ancestral blessings when they pick up this riveting tale, which unmasks the agonized reality behind the idyll. The prose is lucid, unornamented, but full of feeling. To enter this book is to assume the watchful air of a child who feels that it is up to her to hold together a family that is spinning apart with terrific centripetal force." --Mary Karr, author of The Liars' Club and Cherry"House of Happy Endings conveys an exquisite restraint, a measured thoughtfulness that is simply eloquent. At the same time it renders the terrible pain of its people in the most urgent way. A sense of the helplessness of love in the face of an ongoing personal disintegration, the panic of articulate educated people enduring a progressive disaster, give the story a fearsome suspense that is absolutely riveting. Its balance of judicious, insightful reflection and the evocation of heartbreak is truly rare; it's what distinguishes the best memoirs from the rest. Some exist beyond their subject as works of literature and I truly believe that this is one." --Robert Stone"Leslie Garis' grandfather wrote Uncle Wiggily, her grandmother The Bobbsey Twins--between them Tom Swift and hundreds of other children's stories. These benign characters of America's childhood float over the Garis family like a Macy's Thanksgiving day Parade in hell, exacting a fearful penalty on three generations. Leslie Garis has written a searing and chillingly objective memoir, House of Happy Endings, that so transcends the 'problem family' genre it becomes a dissection of the American family itself, its values, its mores, its dreams." --John Guare, author of The House of Blue Leaves and Six Degrees of Separation

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