Empire Falls (Vintage Contemporaries) (Paperback)

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Empire Falls Maine fell on hard times; the three mills
closed, unemployment is high.  Like many mill
towns, Empire Falls has not been able to wrest itself from the subtle control
of the mill owner.  Still very wealthy,
Mrs. Whiting owns most of the businesses in town and is not suffering from her
mills’ closure in the way town’s residents do. 
Miles has been under her thumb since he left college to care for his mother.  Twenty years on he is still managing the
Empire Grill for Mrs. Whiting, kept in line by her promise to will the
restaurant to him.  The theme of family
and generations runs through the story. 
Miles’ reprobate father, Max, is always getting into trouble.  Miles loves his daughter and is very proud of
her.  His wife is leaving him for a slick
health club owner.  He has all these
issues and is making little progress in resolving them until a secret and a
tragedy force him to get his life in order.

— Deon Stonehouse


Winner of the Pulitzer Prize

“Russo writes with a warm, vibrant humanity.... A stirring mix of poignancy, drama and comedy.” —The Washington Post

Welcome to Empire Falls, a blue-collar town full of abandoned mills whose citizens surround themselves with the comforts and feuds provided by lifelong friends and neighbors and who find humor and hope in the most unlikely places, in this Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Richard Russo.

Miles Roby has been slinging burgers at the Empire Grill for 20 years, a job that cost him his college education and much of his self-respect. What keeps him there? It could be his bright, sensitive daughter Tick, who needs all his help surviving the local high school. Or maybe it’s Janine, Miles’ soon-to-be ex-wife, who’s taken up with a noxiously vain health-club proprietor. Or perhaps it’s the imperious Francine Whiting, who owns everything in town–and seems to believe that “everything” includes Miles himself. In Empire Falls Richard Russo delves deep into the blue-collar heart of America in a work that overflows with hilarity, heartache, and grace.

About the Author

Richard Russo is the author of eight novels; two collections of stories; and Elsewhere, a memoir. In 2002 he received the Pulitzer Prize for Empire Falls, which like Nobody’s Fool was adapted to film, in a multiple-award-winning HBO miniseries.

Praise For…

“Rich, humorous, elegantly constructed . . . Easily Mr. Russo’s most seductive book thus far.”–The New York Times

“Russo writes with a warm, vibrant humanity.... A stirring mix of poignancy, drama and comedy.” —The Washington Post

“Russo is one of the best novelists around.” –The New York Times Book Review

“The history of American literature may show that Richard Russo wrote the last great novel of the 20th century.” –Christian Science Monitor

“Nobody does small-town life better than Richard Russo.” –Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Product Details
ISBN: 9780375726408
ISBN-10: 0375726403
Publisher: Vintage
Publication Date: April 12th, 2002
Pages: 496
Language: English
Series: Vintage Contemporaries