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Ann Napolitano Books In Order

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Publication Order of Standalone Novels

Within Arm's Reach (2004)Description / Buy at Amazon
A Good Hard Look (2011)Description / Buy at Amazon
Dear Edward (2020)Description / Buy at Amazon
Hello Beautiful (2023)Description / Buy at Amazon

Ann Napolitano is a published American author of fiction.

She would attend New York University, where she graduated with her MFA. Ann also teaches fiction writing as part of the Gotham Writers Workshop and the School of Continuing and Professional Studies at New York University. She has also taught fiction for the MFA program at Brooklyn College. Ann serves the One Story literary magazine as its associate editor.

Ann is married to her husband and they have two children together. They live in New York City in Brooklyn.

Her first novel was published in 2004 and is titled Within Arm’s Reach. It was adapted and put on as a theatrical production in 2014 in New York City. A second novel would be published in 2011, titled A Good Hard Look. A Good Hard Look was an Okra Pick, Indie Next Pick, made the Best of 2011 list on NPR, and was featured on the Southern Independent best seller list. Another novel, Dear Edward, came out from Dial Press in 2020. Dear Edward was a best seller in the New York Times.

In 2019, Napolitano made the long list for the Simpson/Joyce Carol Oates Literary Prize.

Within Arm’s Reach is the first fictional novel to come out from Ann Napolitano. This is where readers are introduced to the character of Gracie McLaughlin.

Gracie works as an advice columnist. While she may dispense out advice easily to her readers, it’s often not so easy to follow her own words. This is a story that covers the Irish Catholic family of the McLaughlins through three generations. When Gracie becomes unexpectedly pregnant, the family goes into a crisis mode.

Over the years, the family has avoided discussing anything regarding emotions or anything that is unpleasant. The family prefers to be polite and tough and have good manners and doesn’t have the vocabulary to speak about their feelings or woes, stranded inside of themselves and doing their best to keep on with it.

So when Gracie is pregnant, the entire family is jarred. Told from several points of view, this is how different generations and relatives of the family cope with the pregnancy while living in small town New Jersey. Being with child has forced the appearance of normalcy to fall apart and everyone is dealing with the news differently.

After all, Gracie is 29 years old, the youngest, and not married. From the grandmother to Gracie to sister Lila and even their parents, this is a chronicling of Gracie’s life and how it is going to change. Blended with other members of the family and their own stories and memories, this is a richly told story full of everything from loyalty to love, guilt, and betrayal. Pick up a copy and see why this novel is so phenomenally good!

A Good Hard Look is the second novel from author Ann Napolitano. The story is set in Milledgeville, Georgia, known for being the home town of writer Flannery O’Connor. Here relationships and recklessness may end up resulting in a tragedy that changes the town forever.

Flannery O’Connor was just twenty-five years old when she was crippled from contracting lupus. She had to move from New York City and come back to the family farm Andalusia located in Milledgeville, Georgia. Some years after that, she is writing the end of her novel and taking care of her peacocks when her mother decides to take her along at her insistence to a family friend’s wedding.

Cookie Himmel is a woman that seems to have every part of being a Southern woman down, everything that Flannery herself doesn’t have. Her grace and beauty are apparent, and she belongs to so many different ladies’ groups in the town. Cookie’s also come back from living in Manhattan with a man. She’s engaged to Melvin Whiteson, who is very rich.

Melvin’s come along to start this new part of his life in Milledgeville. However, when he makes Flannery’s acquaintance, he begins to start examining all of the choices that he has made up to this point. Even if she does have a disease that limits her, in his eyes she appears more alive than so many others. He cannot help but make his way to her, attracted to her.

Other people in the town are also waking up to the fact that they feel less than satisfied in life. Lona Waters is married to the local policeman. Cookie hires her in an attempt to help get the ideal home. Lona is spending time doing things like sewing curtains, but when she gets the chance to recall what it’s like to be alive, she jumps at it.

These individuals are making their way through life. But when one afternoon sees things take a bad turn, they may have to take a look in the mirror and accept the truth for what it is. Read this novel yourself to catch all of the twists, turns, and drama

Book Series In Order » Authors » Ann Napolitano

One Response to “Ann Napolitano”

  1. Rita Karmiol: 9 months ago

    Almost finished ten pages on hello beautiful. Story resonates with me but really nice book.. kudos


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