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Adam Haslett is an American fiction writer who was born in December 24, 1970. He is the author of the short story collection; You Are Not a Stranger Here and also the novel Union Atlantic. Adam Haslett story collection finished as runners up in the Pulitzer Prize and also the National Book Award. His works have been translated into 18 dialects. Adam Haslets’ journalism and fiction stories have also featured in, Esquire, The O’Henry Prize Stories, Zoetrope All-Story, The Atlantic Monthly, New York Magazine, The Financial Times The New Yorker, The Nation, Best American Short Stories and National Public Radio’s Selected Shorts. He has also got fellowships from, the Rockefeller Foundation, the Guggenheim Foundation and the Fine Arts Work Center. In the year 2006, he was the winner of the PEN/Malamud Award for achievement in short fiction stories. The PEN/Winship Award that is given to the best book by a New England author is also among the awards under his belt. He is a graduate of the Swarthmore College, the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and Yale Law School. He also worked as a visiting professor at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop and the Columbia University.
He was born in Port Chester ,New York, and brought up in Kingston, Massachusetts for the first 9 years of his life after which his family relocated to Oxfordshire in England. Three years later The family went to Wellesley, Massachusetts in the US from where Haslett attended high school. After his college education at Swarthmore, he started working at George Trescher Associates in New York and later for the Lambda Legal Defense and Education Fund. He started writing full-time when he received a 7 month fellowship from the Fine Arts Work Center in Provincetown, Massachusetts. After that he joined the Iowa Writers’ Workshop from where he finished most of what would be his first book. After Iowa, he joined Yale Law School, during which time he worked at a U.S. Attorney’s office, services clinic, a New York City law firm and prison legal. In the year 2002, he went back to New York that is where he has lived and worked ever since.
In the same year You Are Not a Stranger Here was published, and Haslett appeared two times on NBC’s Today Show and he also won the New York Magazine Writer-of-the-Year Award. You Are Not a Stranger Here became a New York Times Bestseller and was also short-listed for a Pulitzer and a National Book Award.
Haslett started writing the Union Atlantic after finishing his law education. Although he is well-known for fiction stories , he has also written essays and reviews, taught both undergraduate and graduate fiction writing and was involved in the writing of some books on U.S. tax politics and policy together with professor who taught him at Yale.
Below are two of Adam Haslett’s’ early books:
You Are Not a Stranger
In this book, Adam Haslett explores lives which appear to be shuttered by loss and also discovers the entire worlds that is hidden inside them. The impression is at once harrowing and exciting.
An elderly inventor who has a lot of manic creativity, attempts to reconcile with his alienated gay son. A bereaved boy gets into a relationship with his thuggish classmate a relationship that is full of escalating guilt and violence. A middle-aged woman who has stayed for a long time at a psychiatric hospital, turns out to be the confidante of a lovelorn teenaged volunteer. Written with Chekhovian restriction and compassion, the book conveys both the sorrow of life and also the courage that people use to rise and meet it.
Imagine Me Gone
This is Adam Haslett’s second novel. The novel is a gut-wrenching immersion into psychological illness and its devastating impact on a family for over 4 decades.
The Trouble starts early in a recollection of the 1960s London when Margaret, who is a young, spirited American, is blindsided by the fact John, who is her British fiancé, has been admitted in a hospital. She gets to know that his history of incapacitating spells of depression started in his childhood. She is told by his doctor that his minds closes down.
Margaret eventually marries John. Before the birth of their third born , John gets sacked at a London investment job and he in turn moves the family near Boston, where his fights to fend off “the beast” so as to continue to interfere both at home and work. He is a decent husband and also a loving father…until he cannot be anymore.
The children grow up faster . in one chapter it seems like , Michael, Celia and little Alec are all playing hide-and-seek summering on Maine’s rocky shore; and, after a couple chapters, they’re all adults trying to survive the difficulties of life.
Michael, who is the oldest, is not only intense but also creative; he is over-medicated for both depression and anxiety, and manically interested with “house music,” casually troubled women, and racial issues. Celia who is the second born is attractive and has a strong will, she is a social worker residing in San Francisco struggling to make her shaky relationship with her boyfriend succesful. Alec is a gay, a typical journalist who worries about his mother and her finances which are made fragile by supporting her son Michael who cannot hold down a job.
Haslett has personally knowledge of the toll on families having to suffer severe mental sickness — suffering irresistible burdens, mental upheaval and disturbing guilt while also desperately trying to help a loved one. Drawing bright scenes and convincing characters from a sad realism, he narrates the story, from chapter to chapter, through the interchanging voices and points of view of the 5 family members.
Haslett connects you to his characters’ lives, their opinions and fears to an extend that, at times, reading the novel feels uncomfortable, very close to emotional prurience.
As the novel connects with Michael’s story, his strange fantasies, disturbing dreams, heart-racing fascinations, anxiety-driven rants and his never-ending neediness becomes a black hole for both his family and the reader. He drives an old Pontiac that has a black-and-white bumper sticker which reads “I Hate My Life,” just as he does.
finally, Alec is able to make a last-ditch effort to aid Michael regain some sense of normalcy. Celia confesses at one point that “No one’s capacity is infinite.” And this might apply to other readers as also.
The novel is not an easy to read regardless of Haslett’s exceptional storytelling and touching insights. there are some uplifting moments of humor, kindness and also love, though this rare. It is a complex story full of emotional trajectory that abruptly stops with no happy ending.Book Series In Order » Authors » Adam Haslett