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In this fascinating book, Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tracy Kidder takes us inside the everyday workings of Northampton, Massachusetts -- a place that seems to personify the typical American hometown. Kidder unveils the complex drama behind the seemingly ordinary lives of Northampton's residents. And out of these stories he creates a splendid, startling portrait of a town, in a narrative that gracefully travels among past and present, public and private, joy and sorrow.
A host of real people are alive in these pages: a tycoon with a crippling ailment; a criminal whom the place has beguiled, a genial and merciful judge, a single mother struggling to start a new life at Smith College; and, at the center, a policeman who patrols the streets of his beloved hometown with a stern yet endearing brand of morality -- and who is about to discover the peril of spending a whole life in one small place. Their stories take us behind the town's facades and reveal how individuals shape the social conscience of a community. Home Town is an unflinching yet lovingly rendered account of how a traditional American town endures and evolves at the turn of the millenniums.
About the Author
Tracy Kidder is an American nonfiction author and Pulitzer Prize winner. He studied at Harvard College and served in the United States Army.
Jonathan Harr author of A Civil Action ...at times hilarious, at times painful, and altogether spellbinding.
People ...a grand vision of a small place.
The Philadelphia Inquirer ...nothing less than a valentine to a place and the people who nurture it. It may be Kidder's best and most elegiac work.
USA Today A book about the fabric that holds a town together...it proves drama, large or small, Is found in unlikely places.
Booklist (starred review) A remarkably detailed, accomplished, and empathic portrait....Kidder's acutely observed, crisply written, and utterly absorbing documentary proves that there is nothing on this spinning earth more amazing and full of grace than everyday life.
The Boston Globe Kidder's protagonist...is Northampton itself. And there's no better way to see it than with a Kidder's-eye view.
Grand Rapids Press (MI) Home Town is a masterwork.
The Sun (Baltimore) Kidder is a master of the nonfiction narrative, one of those rare writers who can make a reader forget the story and instead experience the sensation of life happening before his or her eyes. In doing this so well, and in getting it right, Tracy Kidder transports us to an ordinary place where ordinary people live ordinary lives -- and every bit of it is fascinating.
The New York Times In Tommy O'Connor, Kidder has given us that rare thing, a rich likeness of a breathing, complicated human being.