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Publisher Description

A National Book Critics Circle Award Finalist 'Autobiography'

The renowned biographer’s unforgettable portrait of a family in ruins—his own.

Meet the Baileys: Burck, a prosperous lawyer once voted the American Legion’s “Citizen of the Year” in his tiny hometown of Vinita, Oklahoma; his wife Marlies, who longs to recapture her festive life in Greenwich Village as a fetching young German immigrant, fresh off the boat; their addled son Scott, who repeatedly crashes the family Porsche; and Blake, the younger son, trying to find a way through the storm. “You’re gonna be just like me,” a drunken Scott taunts him. “You’re gonna be worse.”

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award and finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, Blake Bailey has been hailed as “addictively readable” (New York Times) and praised for his ability to capture lives “compellingly and in harrowing detail” (Time). The Splendid Things We Planned is his darkly funny account of growing up in the shadow of an erratic and increasingly dangerous brother, an exhilarating and sometimes harrowing story that culminates in one unforgettable Christmas.

Biographies & Memoirs
March 3
W. W. Norton & Company
W.W. Norton & Company, Inc.

Customer Reviews

Foot71 ,

The Splendid Things We Planned

Haunting, couldn't put it down!

BakerReader ,

Could Not Put Down

Blake, I don't think I knew you, but I was also a grad of clancy's school ('82) As was my son ('10).
I bought your iBook mid-morning and finished it before bed. Excellent writing. You were able to narrate the story with the perspective needed for us to be able to follow, without your internal grief spilling over onto every page. It is a given you will grieve Scott's life forever. You were able to let us know without making it about you. And your honesty! It took courage to expose the not so pretty intimate details of years of family dysfunction. Those of us from addiction tainted families and childhoods know the secret handshake: do not air the laundry no matter what - just buy new clothes.
You did good, Blake

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