A rural, working class New England town elects as its mayor a New York hedge fund millionaire in this urgent and inspired novel for our times.
Mark Firth is a home builder in Howland, Massachusetts who, after being swindled by a financial advisor, feels opportunity passing him and his family by. What future can he promise to his wife Karen and their young daughter Haley? When a wealthy money manager, Philip Hadi, moves to Howland to escape post-9/11 New York, he hires Mark to turn his his house into a secure location. The collision of these two men's very different worlds -- rural vs urban, middle class vs rich -- propels Jonathan Dee's powerful new novel. After the town's first selectman passes away suddenly, Hadi runs for office and begins subtly transforming the town in his image with unexpected results for Mark and his extended family. THE LOCALS is that rare work of fiction capable of capturing a fraught American moment in real time. It is also a novel that is timeless in its depiction of American small town life.
The American novelist who has his finger on the pulse - Mark Lawson
Dee's gifts are often dazzling and his material meticulously shaped. . . . [He] articulates complex emotional dynamics with precision and insight. - The New York Times Book Review on A Thousand Pardons
"'A palpable contract between the very rich and the people who distrust them the least,' Joan Didion once said of the Getty Villa. Jonathan Dee understands this impossible, enduring contract, sometimes called populism-other times, theft-as well as Didion does. The Locals might be the first great Occupy novel of the twenty-first century." - Rachel Kushner, New York Times bestselling author of The Flamethrowers
"There could not be a more timely novel than The Locals. It examines the American self and American selfishness from 9/11 until today. Jonathan Dee has given us a master class in empathy and compassion, a vital book." - Nathan Hill, author of The Nix
"Jonathan Dee's manner is so forthright, his approach so quietly intelligent and direct, his small-town America with its dreams and ambitions and sense of order and rectitude so familiar, we realize we have acknowledged nothing particularly alarming about our weakening grasp on a functioning democracy. Hiding in plain sight is the blueprint of our decline-our easy corruptibility and willed ignorance, our ethical wobbliness and eagerness to sanitize history. The Locals is an absolutely riveting novel that dares to prod us awake. Whoever has ears let them hear-indeed." - Joy Williams, author of The Visiting Privilege
"In this moving study of how the housing bubble's burst sets a small town's citizens against each other, Jonathan Dee tells a must-read story for our age. Class struggle, tyranny, America's disillusionment after 9/11-The Locals creates a delicately drawn world impossible to forget." - Mary Karr, New York Times bestselling author of The Liar s Club and Lit
Slick, observant and often amusing - the Times
Jonathan Dee is the author of seven novels, including The Locals, A Thousand Pardons, and The Privileges, which was a finalist for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize. A recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Guggenheim Foundation, he teaches in the graduate writing program at Syracuse University.