Dimensions: 368 pages, 9.45 × 6.43 × 1.34 in
Published: August 20, 2013
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
The following ISBNs are associated with this title:
ISBN - 10: 1250020832
ISBN - 13: 9781250020833
Read from the Book
Jerilyn There were only two white dresses that ever would matter, her mother said. The first of these was the Debutante Dress that Jerilyn would wear when she would take her father’s arm and march across the stage in Raleigh, into the single spotlight, radiant, along with all the other debs in North Carolina. As of last week, the suspense concerning that dress had been extinguished, when Jerilyn and her pals from Mecklenburg Country Day, Bethany and Mallory, besieged uptown formal shops to hunt down their quarry, capturing and releasing, debating, embracing, denouncing many white gowns before claiming the perfectly flattering one as their own. Jerilyn suffered an hour of agony as she prayed that her more assertive friends would not fall in love with the beautiful number on the mannequin near the cashier’s station as she had. The crinkled taffeta, treated with some French-termed process, so smooth, like petting a puppy, had an internal corset, mermaid tail, subtle beading that sparkled opalescent around the slimming bodice, all blooming out upon layer upon layer of tulle, soft and dreamy. Wearing it would defy gravity; to walk into the light would be like floating in on a tulle cloud, something right out of an antebellum cotillion, which would please her father. He did his best to remain in that world before 1860: Duke Johnston, descendant of Civil War General Joseph E. Johnston. Even though the debut was a year off, she had an impulse to take the gown with
From the Publisher
One of Slate’s and Kirkus Review’s Best Books of 2013 and The New York Times, National Public Radio, and Indie Bound bestseller: "Lookaway, Lookaway is a wild romp through the South, and therefore the history of our nation, written by an absolute ringmaster of fiction." —Alice Sebold, New York Times bestselling author of The Lovely Bones
Jerene Jarvis Johnston and her husband Duke are exemplars of Charlotte, North Carolina’s high society, where old Southern money—and older Southern secrets—meet the new wealth of bankers, boom-era speculators, and carpetbagging social climbers. Steely and implacable, Jerene presides over her family’s legacy of paintings at the Mint Museum; Duke, the one-time college golden boy and descendant of a Confederate general, whose promising political career was mysteriously short-circuited, has settled into a comfortable semi-senescence as a Civil War re-enactor.  Jerene’s brother Gaston is an infamously dissolute bestselling historical novelist who has never managed to begin his long-dreamed-of literary masterpiece, while their sister Dillard is a prisoner of unfortunate life decisions that have made her a near-recluse.
As the four Johnston children wander perpetually toward scandal and mishap. Annie, the smart but matrimonially reckless real estate maven; Bo, a minister at war with his congregation; Joshua, prone to a series of gay misadventures, and Jerilyn, damaged but dutiful to her expected role as debutante and eventual society bride. Jerene must prove tireless in preserving the family''s legacy, Duke’s fragile honor, and what''s left of the dwindling family fortune. She will stop at nothing to keep what she has—but is it too much to ask for one ounce of cooperation from her heedless family?
In Lookaway, Lookaway, Wilton Barnhardt has written a headlong, hilarious narrative of a family coming apart, a society changing beyond recognition, and an unforgettable woman striving to pull it all together.
A Kirkus Reviews
Best Fiction Book of 2013
About the Author
Wilton Barnhardt is the author of Lookaway, Lookaway, a New York Times bestseller. His previous novels are Gospel, Show World, and Emma Who Saved My Life. A native of Winston-Salem, North Carolina, he teaches fiction in the master of fine arts in creative writing program at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, where he lives.
“Lacerating but affectionate, as exuberant as it is shrewd, “Lookaway, Lookaway” is a Southern novel so sure-footed the only real question for Barnhardt is, “What took you so long?”…By the end I felt like a starving man at a buffet—sated but still hungry. That’s not really a knock. “Lookaway, Lookaway” is that rare thing: an excellent long novel that’s not long enough.” — Malcolm Jones, The New York Times Book Review "It is a work that hides its craft but never its beauty, that is ambitious but never pretentious, that does not sacrifice nuance for power or power for nuance. The book’s careful, formal composition is invisible as you read, and it’s a beautiful read, sad and savagely funny, one place inexplicably contained in the other." — Cathleen Schine, The New York Review of Books “A dishier array of secrets animates Lookaway, Lookaway , Wilton Barnhardt’s big, enveloping novel about a status-conscious North Carolina family.” — Janet Maslin, The New York Times "Scathing yet touching, this is a delicious saga of Old South meets New, a story of America lurching toward the future." —People Magazine "A delicious romp with a dysfunctional Southern Family." — The Chicago Tribune "Barnhardt’s fourth novel is a revelation: witty, savage and bighearted all at once, it is the Southern novel for the 21st century." — Kirku