Six Figures

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Knopf, 2000 - Fiction - 224 pages
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With Six Figures, Fred Leebron has written an intricately nuanced novel of psychological investigation and suspense, riveting in the depth and intensity of the questions it raises about ourselves -- and about our status-obsessed society.
Warner Lutz isn't sure how he got where he is, but he's not particularly happy to be there: midthirties, married, two kids, dead-end career in fund-raising, cramped town house, old Honda, clothes slightly frayed around the edges. His latest job has landed him and his family in Charlotte, North Carolina, a boomtown where everyone else seems to have more than Warner -- and more is what Warner wants.
But it's not what he gets. Instead, the probation period of his job has just been extended; his wife, Megan, thinks her own job is in jeopardy as well; their entire savings are going toward a house that won't be big enough for them; and their four-year-old daughter, the preschool teacher tells them, is "a couple of beats behind" the other children. In fact, there isn't one part of Warner's life that's going the way he'd planned.
But are his disappointment and frustration powerful enough to trigger murderous anger?
When Megan is viciously attacked and Warner emerges as the prime suspect, the answer might be yes ("This was how it happened, this was how their lives unraveled, this was how you realized you didn't have it so bad in the first place"). Now, as disbelief and distrust poison relations with family, friends, and colleagues, Warner struggles to understand how he has become a man whom others -- and, more appallingly, he himself -- could believe capable of committing such a crime.
With realism and emotional honesty, Six Figures gives usthe story -- both powerful and disturbing -- of a family caught in complex and ambiguous turmoil.

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User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

A nightmare unfolds in Leebron's (Out West, 1996) ill-founded second novel, as a crack North Carolina fund-raiser feels the heat when his wife is hit in the head with a hammer and everyone believes he ... Read full review


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About the author (2000)

Fred G. Leebron's stories have appeared in several anthologies and in publications such as Grand Street, TriQuarterly, and DoubleTake. A graduate of the Iowa Writers' Workshop, he has been the recipient of a Fulbright scholarship, a James Michener Award, and a Wallace Stegner Fellowship. He teaches creative writing at Gettysburg College in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, where he lives with his wife and two children.

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