Into the Great Wide Open

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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Oct 24, 2012 - Fiction - 256 pages
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Building on the success of A Stranger in This World, the widely praised collection of stories that was one of the most exciting literary debuts of recent years, Kevin Canty has written a blistering, unforgettable first novel. Set in the sprawl of suburbia, with its shattered families and hollow lives, Into the Great Wide Open is the story of two young people fleeing their families' emotional abandonment to find refuge in each other.

Smart but scarred, Kenny Kolodny yearns to awake from the nightmare of his smashed-up family: his mother is in an institution and forever away; his father is an abusive alcoholic; his brother lives abroad. Seventeen and alone, he hangs on the periphery of his world, until he makes a passionate connection with the troubled, beautiful, fiercely independent Junie Williamson. Kenny discovers in their highly charged, intensely erotic relationship a reality--and a capacity for caring--he has not known before.

In prose startling for its diamond-hard edges and bravura lyricism, Kevin Canty revives the heady carnival of adolescence, evoking its confusing emotional landscape and its heightened sensuality, too soon lost. Into the Great Wide Open is a haunting, mesmerizing novel by a writer of deep sensitivity and undeniable talent.
 

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - whitewavedarling - LibraryThing

Canty's greatest strength here is also the novel's greatest weakness. Writing unironically about teenage love, and from a first person point of view, he manages to transport readers right back to high ... Read full review

INTO THE GREAT WIDE OPEN

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

First-novelist Canty (stories, A Stranger in This World, 1994) offers a tale of teenage love more engaging in its details than in the full-dimensioned pull of its characters. Troubled and sensitive ... Read full review

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About the author (2012)

Kevin Canty is the award-winning author of the novels Into the Great Wide OpenNine Below Zero, and Winslow in Love, as well as the short story collections Honeymoon and Other StoriesA Stranger in This World, and Where the Money Went. His most recent book is The Underworld: A Novel, published in 2017. His work has been published in The New YorkerEsquireGQDetailsStory, The New York Times MagazineTin House, and Glimmer Train.  He currently teaches fiction writing at the University of Montana.

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