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Bridge of sighs

by Russo, Richard, 1949-

Format: Print Book 2007
Availability: Available at 28 Libraries 29 of 29 copies
Available (29)
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ACLA Mobile Library Services Fiction Collection F RUSS
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Andrew Bayne Memorial Library Fiction Fic Russ
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Bethel Park Public Library Fiction FIC RUSSO Richard
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Brentwood Library Fiction FICTION Russo
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CLP - East Liberty Fiction Collection FICTION Russo, R
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CLP - Lawrenceville Fiction Collection FICTION Russo, R
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CLP - Main Library First Floor - Fiction Stacks FICTION Russo
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CLP - Main Library First Floor - Fiction Stacks FICTION Russo
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Carnegie Library of McKeesport Fiction F RUS
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Community Library of Allegheny Valley - Harrison Fiction FIC RUSSO
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Community Library of Castle Shannon Fiction Fic Russo
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Cooper-Siegel Community Library Fiction FIC RUS
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Dormont Public Library Fiction F RUSS
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Jefferson Hills Public Library Fiction FIC RUS
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Monroeville Public Library Fiction Russo
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Moon Township Public Library Fiction F RUSSO Richard
Location  Moon Township Public Library
 
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North Versailles Public Library Fiction FIC RUSS
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Northern Tier Regional Library Fiction FIC RUSSO
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Northland Public Library Fiction FIC RUSSO
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Oakmont Carnegie Library Fiction RU
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Penn Hills Library Fiction RUS
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Pleasant Hills Public Library Adult Fiction Fic Rus
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Sewickley Public Library Fiction F RUS
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Shaler North Hills Library Fiction RUSSO
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Springdale Free Public Library Fiction AF RUSS
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Upper St. Clair Township Library Literary Fiction LITERARY RUSSO Richard
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Wilkinsburg Public Library Fiction FIC RUS
Location  Wilkinsburg Public Library
 
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Wilkinsburg Public Library - Eastridge Fiction FIC RUS
Location  Wilkinsburg Public Library - Eastridge
 
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Summary
Six years after the best-selling, Pulitzer Prize--winning Empire Falls, Richard Russo returns with a novel that expands even further his widely heralded achievement.

Louis Charles ("Lucy") Lynch has spent all his sixty years in upstate Thomaston, New York, married to the same woman, Sarah, for forty of them, their son now a grown man. Like his late, beloved father, Lucy is an optimist, though he's had plenty of reasons not to be--chief among them his mother, still indomitably alive. Yet it was her shrewdness, combined with that Lynch optimism, that had propelled them years ago to the right side of the tracks and created an "empire" of convenience stores about to be passed on to the next generation.

Lucy and Sarah are also preparing for a once-in-a-lifetime trip to Italy, where his oldest friend, a renowned painter, has exiled himself far from anything they'd known in childhood. In fact, the exact nature of their friendship is one of the many mysteries Lucy hopes to untangle in the "history" he's writing of his hometown and family. And with his story interspersed with that of Noonan, the native son who'd fled so long ago, the destinies building up around both of them (and Sarah, too) are relentless, constantly surprising, and utterly revealing.

Bridge of Sighs is classic Russo, coursing with small-town rhythms and the claims of family, yet it is brilliantly enlarged by an expatriate whose motivations and experiences--often contrary, sometimes not--prove every bit as mesmerizing as they resonate through these richly different lives. Here is a town, as well as a world, defined by magnificent and nearly devastating contradictions. 
Published Reviews
Booklist Review: "*Starred Review* Here is the novel Russo was born to write. Coursing with humor and humanity, the sixth novel by the bard of Main Street U.S.A. gives full expression to the themes that have always been at the heart of his work: the all-important bond between fathers and sons, the economic desperation of small-town businesses, and the lifelong feuds and friendships that are a hallmark of small-town life. Following a trio of best friends who grew up in upstate Thomaston, New York, over 50 years, the novel captures some of the essential mysteries of life, including the unanticipated moments of childhood that will forever define one's adulthood. Louis Charles ( Lucy ) Lynch has spent his entire life in Thomaston, married for 40 years to his wife, Sarah, and finally living in the rich section of town, thanks to the success of his father's convenience stores. Long planning a trip to Venice, he tries in vain to communicate with the couple's best friend, Bobby Marconi, now a world-famous painter living in Venice. Meanwhile, the irascible ex-pat, now approaching 60 and suffering from night terrors, is still chasing women, engaging in fistfights, and struggling to complete his latest painting. Russo slowly and lovingly pieces together rich, multilayered portraits not only of the principals but also of their families, and, by extension, their quintessentially American town. It is a seamless interweaving of childhood memories (sometimes told from three points of view), tragic incidents (the town river, once the lifeblood of local industry, has become a toxic stew that is poisoning residents), and unforgettable dialogue that is so natural, funny, and touching that it may, perhaps, be the best of Russo's many gifts.--Wilkinson, Joanne Copyright 2007 Booklist"
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Publisher's Weekly Review: "Richard Russo's portraits of smalltown life may be read not only as fine novels but as invaluable guides to the economic decline of the American Northeast. Russo was reared in Gloversville, N.Y. (which got its name from the gloves no longer manufactured there), and a lot of mid-20th-century Gloversville can be found in his earlier fiction (Mohawk; The Risk Pool). It reappears in Bridge of Sighs, Russo's splendid chronicle of life in the hollowed-out town of Thomaston, N.Y., where a tannery's runoff is slowly spreading carcinogenic ruin. At the novel's center is Lou C. Lynch (his middle initial wins him the unfortunate, lasting nickname "Lucy"), but the narrative, which covers more than a half-century, also unfolds through the eyes of Lou's somewhat distant and tormented friend, Bobby Marconi, as well as Sarah Berg, a gifted artist who Lou marries and who loves Bobby, too. The lives of the Lynches, the Bergs and the Marconis intersect in various ways, few of them happy; each family has its share of woe. Lou's father, a genial milkman, is bound for obsolescence and leads his wife into a life of shopkeeping; Bobby's family is being damaged by an abusive father. Sarah moves between two parents: a schoolteacher father with grandiose literary dreams and a scandal in his past and a mother who lives in Long Island and leads a life that is far from exemplary. Russo weaves all of this together with great sureness, expertly planting clues-and explosives, too-knowing just when and how they will be discovered or detonate at the proper time. Incidents from youth-a savage beating, a misunderstood homosexual advance, a loveless seduction-have repercussions that last far into adulthood. Thomaston itself becomes a sort of extended family, whose unhappy members include the owners of the tannery who eventually face ruin. Bridge of Sighs is a melancholy book; the title refers to a painting that Bobby is making (he becomes a celebrated artist) and the Venetian landmark, but also to the sadness that pervades even the most contented lives. Lou, writing about himself and his dying, blue-collar town, thinks that "the loss of a place isn't really so different from the loss of a person. Both disappear without permission, leaving the self diminished, in need of testimony and evidence." If there are false notes, they come with Russo's portrayal of African-Americans, who too often speak like stock characters: ("Doan be given me that hairy eyeball like you doan believe, 'cause I know better," says one). But Russo has a deep and real understanding of stifled ambitions and the secrets people keep, sometimes forever. Bridge of Sighs, on every page, is largehearted, vividly populated and filled with life from America's recent, still vanishing past. (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved"
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Additional Information
Subjects City and town life -- Fiction.
Friendship -- Fiction.
Lifestyles -- Fiction.
New York (State) -- Fiction.
Italy -- Fiction.
Publisher New York :Alfred A. Knopf,2007
Edition 1st ed.
Language English
Description 527 pages ; 25 cm
ISBN 9780375414954
0375414959
Other Classic View