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The Privileges

The Privileges

Paperback Corsair

By (author) Jonathan Dee

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  • Publisher: Corsair
  • Format: Paperback | 352 pages
  • Dimensions: 130mm x 196mm x 24mm | 281g
  • Publication date: 24 February 2011
  • Publication City/Country: London
  • ISBN 10: 1849015937
  • ISBN 13: 9781849015936
  • Sales rank: 41,449

Product description

Smart, socially gifted, and chronically impatient, Adam and Cynthia Morey are so perfect for each other that united they become a kind of fortress against the world. In their hurry to start a new life, they marry young and have two children before Cynthia reaches the age of twenty-five. Adam is a rising star in the world of private equity and becomes his boss's protege. With a beautiful home in the upper-class precincts of Manhattan, gorgeous children, and plenty of money, they are, by any reasonable standard, successful. But the Moreys' standard is not the same as other people's. The future in which they have always believed for themselves and their children - a life of almost boundless privilege, in which any desire can be acted upon and any ambition made real - is still out there, but it is not arriving fast enough to suit them. As Cynthia, at home with the kids day after identical day, begins to drift, Adam is confronted with a decision that tests how much he is willing to risk to ensure his family's happiness and to recapture the sense that, for him and his wife, the only acceptable life is one of infinite possibility. The Privileges is an odyssey of a couple touched by fortune, changed by time, and guided above all else by their epic love for each other. Lyrical, provocative, and brilliantly imagined, it is a timely meditation on wealth, family, and what it means to leave the world richer than you found it.

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Author information

Jonathan Dee is the author of five novels with The Privileges being his most recent. He is a staff writer for The New York Times Magazine, a frequent contributor to Harper's, and a former senior editor of The Paris Review. He teaches in the graduate writing programmes at Columbia University and The New School.

Review quote

A deliciously sophisticated engine of literary darkness. -- Jonathan Franzen's Book of the 2010 The Guardian Lucidly written and with a pitch-perfect ear both for contemporary mores and dialogue, The Privileges is entertaining - and morally ambiguous. The Economist Mr Dee has given us a cunning, seductive novel about the people we thought we'd all agreed to hate. His case study of American mega-wealth is delicious page by page and masterly in its balancing of sympathy and critical distance. -- Jonathan Franzen, author of Freedom ... a deliciously sophisticated engine of literary darkness, seducing the reader into sympathy with a young Manhattan couple whose ascent to megawealth then takes them beyond the reach of anybody's sympathy. Strong novels for a deep recession. -- Jonathan Franzen The Guardian Dee is graceful; articulate and perceptive, and often hilariously funny... full of elegance, vitality and complexity. New York Times Here is an incredibly readable, intelligent, incisive portrait of a particular kind of American family. Dee takes us inside the world of what desire for wealth can do, and cannot do, both for the self, the soul and the family. Told with admirable conciseness and yet with great breadth, the reader is swept along, watching the complications of such desire unfold. -- Elizabeth Strout, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Olive Kitteridge The Privileges is verbally brilliant, intellectually astute and intricately knowing. It is also very funny and a great, great pleasure to read. Jonathan Dee is a wonderful writer. -- Richard Ford The Privileges is an intimate portrait of a wealthy family that gradually becomes an indictment of an entire social class and historical moment, while also providing a window onto some recent, and peculiarly American, forms of decadence. Jonathan Dee is at once an acerbic social critic, an elegant stylist, and a shrewd observer of the human comedy. Tom Perrotta The subjects of money and class are seldom tackled head-on by our best literary minds, which is one of the reasons that Jonathan Dee's The Privileges is such an important and compelling work. The Privileges is a pitch-perfect evocation of a particular stratum of New York society as well as a moving meditation on family and romantic love. The tour de force first chapter alone is worth the price of admission. Jay McInerney Jonathan Dee's scintillating fifth novel, The Privileges, tells the story of a golden couple, Adam and Cynthia Morey, who rise swiftly from modest Midwestern circumstances to immense wealth in New York. The book opens at their wedding in Pittsburgh, a scene that's a tour de force of shifting points of view, rendered with artistry and control I haven't seen since Ann Patchett's Bel Canto. Washington Post Beautifully perceptive and wholly absorbing. Good Book Guide.