The Astral is a huge rose-colored old pile of an apartment building in the gentrifying neighborhood of Greenpoint, Brooklyn. For decades it was the happy home (or so he thought) of poet Harry Quirk and his wife, Luz, a nurse, and of their two children: Karina, now a fervent Freegan, and Hector, now in the clutches of a cultish Christian community. But Luz has found (and destroyed) some poems of Harry's that ignite her long-simmering suspicions of infidelity, and he's been summarily kicked out. He now has to reckon with the consequences of his literary, marital, financial, and parental failures, (and perhaps others) and find his way forward - and back into Luz's good graces.
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by Noam Chomsky
by Peter Schwartz
by Chuck Pfarrer
by Andrew Ervin
by James Kaplan
by Matthew O. Jackson
by Charles Jackson
by Lee Trimble, Jeremy Dronfield
by Larissa Theule
by Thomas Moore
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by Steve Luxenberg
"This remarkable novel takes its name from a Brooklyn institution that sounds something like Manhattan's famous Chelsea Hotel, seedy home to a variety of colorful characters. These include Harry Quirk, a respected but basically failed poet, and his enraged and estranged wife, Luz, who is convinced, wrongly, that Harry is having an affair. Giving us a psychologically acute study of the death of love after a long-term marriage, Christensen succeeds impressively in inhabiting Harry's point of view. Donald Corren brings Christensen's large cast of characters, of which Brooklyn itself is one, to vivid, eccentric life. His version of Harry's freegan lesbian daughter, Karina, is effective; his messianic son, Hector, is a splendid creation; and his angry duet between Harry and his wife's therapist is hilarious. B.G. (c) AudioFile 2011, Portland, Maine"
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