A sweeping, multigenerational drama, set against the backdrop of the raw, roaring New York City during the late 1980s, Ten Thousand Saints triumphantly heralds the arrival a remarkable new writer. Eleanor Henderson makes a truly stunning debut with a novel that is part coming of age, part coming to terms, immediately joining the ranks of The Emperor's Children by Claire Messud and Jonathan Lethem's The Fortress of Solitude. Adoption, teen pregnancy, drugs, hardcore punk rock, the unbridled optimism and reckless stupidity of the young - and old - are all major elements in this heart-aching tale of the son of diehard hippies and his strange odyssey through the extremes of late 20th century youth culture.
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"The narrative occasionally teeters into a didactic, researched tone that may put off readers to whom the milieu isn't new - but the commitment to its characters and jettisoning of hayseed-in-the-city cliché distinguish a nervy voice adept at etching the outlines of a generation, its prejudices and pandemics, and the idols killed along the way." - Publishers Weekly
"Henderson's powerful, surprising look at lost teens trying to course-correct with the violence-tinged straight-edge culture captivates via its authentic reassurance that adolescence is an often reckless ride to adulthood." - Library Journal
"A bold debut...[with] a powerful moral imagination." - Kirkus Reviews
"The magic of Henderson's debut lies in the way she so completely captures the experience of coming-of-age in the turbulent and exciting era that was the 1980s." - Booklist
"An irresistibly rich and engrossing novel poignant, complex Henderson brilliantly evokes the gritty energy of New York City in the '80s, and the violent euphoria of the music scene. The hard-edged settings highlight the touching vulnerability of young characters." - O. Magazine
"Ten Thousand Saints is funny, touching, artistic, surprising, lovely, eye-opening, and very, very wise." - Arthur Phillips, author of Prague and The Tragedy of Arthur
"Eleanor Henderson is in possession of an enormous talent which she has matched up with skill, ambition, and a fierce imagination. The resulting novel, Ten Thousand Saints, is the best thing I've read in a long time." - Ann Patchett, bestselling author of Bel Canto and State of Wonder
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Eleanor Henderson earned her MFA from the University of Virginia in 2005. Her story, "The Farms," was selected by Alice Sebold for The Best American Short Stories 2009. Her fiction has also appeared in Agni, North American Review, Ninth Letter, and Columbia, among other publications. Her nonfiction has appeared in Poets & Writers, where she was a contributing editor, and Virginia Quarterly Review, where she was the chair of the fiction board. She is currently an assistant professor at Ithaca College. You can learn more at eleanorhenderson.net.
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