We Are Not Ourselves: A Novel

by Matthew Thomas

Simon & Schuster | August 19, 2014 | Hardcover

We Are Not Ourselves: A Novel is rated 5 out of 5 by 1.
New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2014 * Washington Post Top 50 Fiction List for 2014 * Entertainment Weekly Ten Best Fiction Books of 2014 * Esquire 5 Most Important Books of 2014 * Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2014 * One of Janet Maslin’s Ten Favorite Books of the Year in The New York Times

The instant New York Times bestseller the Washington Post calls a “stunning…superbly rendered” novel, and Entertainment Weekly describes as “a gripping family saga, maybe the best…since The Corrections.”

Born in 1941, Eileen Tumulty is raised by her Irish immigrant parents in Woodside, Queens, in an apartment where the mood swings between heartbreak and hilarity, depending on how much alcohol has been consumed. From an early age, Eileen wished that she lived somewhere else. She sets her sights on upper class Bronxville, New York, and an American Dream is born.

Driven by this longing, Eileen places her stock and love in Ed Leary, a handsome young scientist, and with him begins a family. Over the years Eileen encourages her husband to want more: a better job, better friends, a better house. It slowly becomes clear that his growing reluctance is part of a deeper, more incomprehensive psychological shift. An inescapable darkness enters their lives, and Eileen and Ed and their son Connell try desperately to hold together a semblance of the reality they have known, and to preserve, against long odds, an idea they have cherished of the future.

Described by The New York Times Book Review as “A long, gorgeous epic, full of love and caring…one of the best novels you’ll read this year,” We Are Not Ourselves is a testament to our greatest desires and our greatest frailties. Through the lives of these characters, Thomas charts the story of the American Century. The result is, “stunning…The joys of this book are the joys of any classic work of literature—for that is what this is destined to become—superbly rendered small moments that capture both an individual life and the universality of that person’s experience” (The Washington Post).

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 640 pages, 9.41 × 6.25 × 1.3 in

Published: August 19, 2014

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 147675666X

ISBN - 13: 9781476756660

Found in: Literary

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Reviews

Rated 5 out of 5 by from AN IMMIGRANT FAMILY?S TUMULTUOUS SAGA: We Are Not Ourselves Debut novelist Matthew Thomas created quite a stir after capturing the interest of prominent publishers with his book We Are Not Ourselves. According to Alison Flood of The Guardian, Thomas quit his teaching job after securing an impressive 7-figure sum for the rights to his first novel. His publishers were onto something big. Thomas? book is a heart-rending, epic story well worth the time and emotional investment. It may well be one of 2014?s best-loved novels. We Are not Ourselves tells the story of Eileen Tumulty, the daughter of Irish immigrants living in Queens. Her brawny, hard-working father hauls barrels of beer from the moment he sets foot in America. He didn?t choose to leave Ireland; he came to America ?carrying a kernel of regret and heartache that he would feed with his silence.? Eileen?s mother becomes a dejected alcoholic after having a horrible miscarriage that leads to an eight-month hospitalization. Thomas lets his characters? unhappiness hang heavy in the air of their tiny apartment. To escape the sadness that weighs down her family life, little Eileen daydreams of living in the fancy mansion her mother cleans for a living. Her hopes and determination tugged at my heartstrings. For the full review, check out my blog: http://grandbarda.wordpress.com/2014/... Thanks for reading!
Date published: 2014-08-19

– More About This Product –

We Are Not Ourselves: A Novel

We Are Not Ourselves: A Novel

by Matthew Thomas

Format: Hardcover

Dimensions: 640 pages, 9.41 × 6.25 × 1.3 in

Published: August 19, 2014

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Language: English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10: 147675666X

ISBN - 13: 9781476756660

Read from the Book

We Are Not Ourselves 1 Instead of going to the priest, the men who gathered at Doherty’s Bar after work went to Eileen Tumulty’s father. Eileen was there to see it for herself, even though she was only in the fourth grade. When her father finished his delivery route, around four thirty, he picked her up at step dancing and walked her over to the bar. Practice went until six, but Eileen never minded leaving the rectory basement early. Mr. Hurley was always yelling at her to get the timing right or to keep her arms flush at her sides. Eileen was too lanky for the compact movements of a dance that evolved, according to Mr. Hurley, to disguise itself as standing still when the police passed by. She wanted to learn the jitterbug or Lindy Hop, anything she could throw her restless limbs into with abandon, but her mother signed her up for Irish dancing instead. Her mother hadn’t let go of Ireland entirely. She wasn’t a citizen yet. Her father liked to tout that he’d applied for his citizenship on the first day he was eligible to. The framed Certificate of Citizenship, dated May 3, 1938, hung in the living room across from a watercolor painting of St. Patrick banishing the snakes, the only artwork in the apartment unless you counted the carved-wood Celtic cross in the kitchen. The little photo in the certificate bore an embossed seal, a tidy signature, and a face with an implacably fierce expression. Eileen looked into it for answers, but the tight-lipped younger version of her fath
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From the Publisher

New York Times 100 Notable Books of 2014 * Washington Post Top 50 Fiction List for 2014 * Entertainment Weekly Ten Best Fiction Books of 2014 * Esquire 5 Most Important Books of 2014 * Publishers Weekly Best Books of 2014 * One of Janet Maslin’s Ten Favorite Books of the Year in The New York Times

The instant New York Times bestseller the Washington Post calls a “stunning…superbly rendered” novel, and Entertainment Weekly describes as “a gripping family saga, maybe the best…since The Corrections.”

Born in 1941, Eileen Tumulty is raised by her Irish immigrant parents in Woodside, Queens, in an apartment where the mood swings between heartbreak and hilarity, depending on how much alcohol has been consumed. From an early age, Eileen wished that she lived somewhere else. She sets her sights on upper class Bronxville, New York, and an American Dream is born.

Driven by this longing, Eileen places her stock and love in Ed Leary, a handsome young scientist, and with him begins a family. Over the years Eileen encourages her husband to want more: a better job, better friends, a better house. It slowly becomes clear that his growing reluctance is part of a deeper, more incomprehensive psychological shift. An inescapable darkness enters their lives, and Eileen and Ed and their son Connell try desperately to hold together a semblance of the reality they have known, and to preserve, against long odds, an idea they have cherished of the future.

Described by The New York Times Book Review as “A long, gorgeous epic, full of love and caring…one of the best novels you’ll read this year,” We Are Not Ourselves is a testament to our greatest desires and our greatest frailties. Through the lives of these characters, Thomas charts the story of the American Century. The result is, “stunning…The joys of this book are the joys of any classic work of literature—for that is what this is destined to become—superbly rendered small moments that capture both an individual life and the universality of that person’s experience” (The Washington Post).

About the Author

Matthew Thomas was born in the Bronx and grew up in Queens. A graduate of the University of Chicago, he has an MA from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University and an MFA from the University of California, Irvine, where he received the Graduate Essay Award. His first novel, We Are Not ourselves, made the New York Times bestseller list in 2014.

Editorial Reviews

“the sprawling, brilliant, heartbreaking debut novel by Matthew Thomas, is the story of an American family deeply affected by the father’s early-onset Alzheimer’s, told primarily through his wife, Eileen, a fiercely proud nurse. It’s stunning how this novel — page after unblinking page of seemingly mundane details in the lives of three people— can be so utterly captivating and moving.”
Minneapolis Star Tribune