Home Town

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Home Town

by Tracy Kidder

Washington Square Press | May 1, 2000 | Trade Paperback

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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.

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 464 pages, 8.25 × 5.31 × 1.3 in

Published: May 1, 2000

Publisher: Washington Square Press

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0671785214

ISBN - 13: 9780671785215

Found in: Current Events

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– More About This Product –

Home Town

Home Town

by Tracy Kidder

Format: Trade Paperback

Dimensions: 464 pages, 8.25 × 5.31 × 1.3 in

Published: May 1, 2000

Publisher: Washington Square Press

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 0671785214

ISBN - 13: 9780671785215

Read from the Book

Chapter 1: TownieHe grew up here. He was the youngest of Jane and Bill O'Connor's seven children. His oldest sister called him Todder when he was an infant. His high school friends shortened up his surname and rechristened him Oakie. To teachers and other adults he was usually Tommy. His wife would call him Tom. All his nicknames and the diminutive accompanied him to adulthood. If you do all your growing up in the same small place, you don't shed identities. You accumulate them.One day when he was ten years old, Tommy O'Connor's Little League baseball coach made him the starting pitcher. A signal honor, but then Tommy couldn't get anyone out. He walked the first batter, and from their lawn chairs on the sidelines the parents called, "Make him be a hitter, Tommy." So he threw an easy one right over the plate, and the batter nailed it. His teammates in the field behind him did as they'd been taught: they talked it up, they chattered, squeaky voices calling, "Hum chuck, Tommy. No batter, no batter. Hum it in there, Tommy baby." He threw harder and walked the next two batters. He eased up and the next kid hit it over everything. Many games of Little League reach this kind of impasse. Five runs in, the bases loaded once again, and still nobody out, the fielders grumbling, the parents looking on in silence, all except for one, someone else's father, who cares more about a good ball game than his neighbor's son, and shouts, "Get him outa there, for Christ's sake!" Tommy stood on the
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From the Publisher

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.

From the Jacket

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 bighearted and garrulous mayor; 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 millennium.

About the Author

Tracy Kidder was educated at the University of Iowa and Harvard University. He served in the US Army in Vietnam. Kidder has garnered numerous literary awards including the Pulitzer Prize in General Non-Fiction and the National Book Award for General Nonfiction both in 1982. He has also been honored with the Robert F. Kennedy Book Award, 1990 and the Christopher Award, 1990. His publications include numerous nonfiction articles and short fiction for The Atlantic and other periodicals. Non-Fiction books include The Road to Yuba City, Doubleday, 1974; The Soul of a New Machine, Atlantic Monthly-Little Brown, 1981 for which he won a Pulitzer and a National Book Award; House, Houghton Mifflin, 1985; Old Friends, Houghton Mifflin, 1993; Home Town, Random House, 1999; Mountains Beyond Mountains, Random House, 2003; My Detachment, Random House, 2005; Strength in What Remains, Random House, 2009.

From Our Editors

Life in a small town in the United States is anything but boring. Pulitzer Prize-winning author Tracy Kidder shares his experiences of living in Northampton, Massachusetts, in Home Town. Kidder provides readers with in-depth detail on everyday life in Northampton, with keen observations and humour. The work focusses on how this small community is dealing with the technologies and advances of the 21st century. From the author of The Soul of a New Machine and Among Schoolchildren comes Home Town, a delightful look at life in a small town.

Editorial Reviews

The New York Times In Tommy O'Connor, Kidder has given us that rare thing, a rich likeness of a breathing, complicated human being.