Attending a New England summer camp, young Eric Schroder - a first-generation East German immigrant - adopts the last name Kennedy to more easily fit in, a fateful white lie that will set him on an improbable and ultimately tragic course.
Schroder relates the story of Eric's urgent escape years later to Lake Champlain, Vermont, with his six-year-old daughter, Meadow, in an attempt to outrun the authorities amid a heated custody battle with his wife, who will soon discover that her husband is not who he says he is. From a correctional facility, Eric surveys the course of his life to understand - and maybe even explain - his behavior: the painful separation from his mother in childhood; a harrowing escape to America with his taciturn father; a romance that withered under a shadow of lies; and his proudest moments and greatest regrets as a flawed but loving father.
Alternately lovesick and ecstatic, Amity Gaige's deftly imagined novel offers a profound meditation on history and fatherhood, and the many identities we take on in our lives - those we are born with and those we construct for ourselves.
"Starred Review. Smart, comic, unsettling, yet strangely of a piece - not unlike its disarming lead character." - Kirkus
"Tender moments of observation, regret, and joy - all conveyed in unself-consciously lyrical prose result in a radiant meditation on identity, memory, and familial love and loss. " - Publishers Weekly
"[An] expert exploration of the immigrant experience, alienation, and the unbreakable bond between parent and child." - Booklist
"The measure of Gaige's great gifts as a storyteller is that she persuades you to believe in a situation that shouldn't be believable, and to love a narrator who shouldn't be lovable. Seldom has such a daring concept for a novel been grounded in such an appealing character." - Jonathan Franzen, author of Freedom and The Corrections
"In Schroder, Amity Gaige explores the rich, murky realm where parental devotion edges into mania, and logic crabwalks into crime. This offbeat, exquisitely written novel showcases a fresh, forceful young voice in American letters." - Jennifer Egan, author of A Visit from the Goon Squad
"Amity Gaige has written a flawless book. It does not contain a single false note. Eric Schroder should take his place among the most charismatic and memorable characters in contemporary fiction, and Amity Gaige her place among the most talented and impressive writers working today." - David Bezmozgis, prize-winning author of Natasha and Other Stories and The Free World
"You will not want to put this book down. You will want to read it in one big gulp. This is a bullet of a novel, aimed at our pieties about parenthood and familial love. You won't soon forget Schroder or his daughter or the sentences that bring them to life." - Adam Haslett, author of Union Atlantic, and the New York Times best-selling short story collection You Are Not a Stranger Here
Amity Gaige is the author of three novels,O My Darling (2005), The Folded World (2007), and Schroder
Amity was the recipient of the Foreword Book of the Year Award for 2007, and in 2006, she was recognized as one of the "5 Under 35" outstanding emerging writers by the National Book Foundation. Amity is the winner of a Fulbright Fellowship, fellowships at the MacDowell and Yaddo colonies, and a Baltic Writing Residency.
Her short stories, essays, and reviews have appeared in publications such as The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, O Magazine, the Literary Review, The Yale Review, One Story, and elsewhere.
She lives in Amherst, Massachusetts, and is the current Visiting Writer at Amherst College.