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by Chang-rae Lee (Author)
References to this work on external resources.
Wikipedia in English
Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0747572488, Paperback)Chang-Rae Lee, named by The New Yorker as one of its 20 writers for the 21st Century, has confirmed his place in that company with Aloft, a masterful treatment of a man coming to terms with his own disaffection. In two previous novels, Native Speaker and A Gesture Life, Lee, a Korean-American, writes of lives being not what they seem: in the first, the protagonist is an undercover agent; in the second, the two halves of Franklin Hata's life never quite come together. Both novels won numerous awards, including Best First Novel, the Hemingway PEN Award, the American Book Award and the Asian-American Literary Award, among others. In Aloft, Lee revisits alienation, a fractured family, mixed heritage and the quest for identity.
Jerry Battle, 59-year-old widower and father of two, retired from the family business--the unmistakably earthbound Battle Brothers Brick and Mortar--buys a small airplane because "From up here, a half mile above the Earth, everything looks perfect to me." All is not well below. Jerry knows it, saying
...the recurring fantasy of my life... is one of perfect continuous travel, this unending hop from one point to another, the pleasures found not in the singular marvels of any destination but in the constancy of serial arrivals and departures, and the comforting companion knowledge that you’ll never quite get intimate enough for any trouble to start brewing.
His view from aloft saves him from the gritty reality of the detritus of life--and from life itself.
This high-flyer must come to earth, however, when he finds that his daughter is newly pregnant, diagnosed with cancer, and refusing treatment; his son, who is running the company, has piled up enough debt that bankruptcy is imminent; and his father has gone missing from his assisted living facility. Jerry can no longer say, with impunity, "Jerry Battle hereby declines the Real." Lee takes us on great side trips into the pleasures of food and recreational sex; his wife Daisy's death; his longtime lover Rita's almost endless patience, weaving long, Miltonic sentences that start in one place and end up miles away--flights of fancy--trailing clouds of insight and poignancy. With Aloft Lee just keeps getting better. --Valerie Ryan
(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 14 Feb 2013 13:55:50 -0500)
"Aloft offers a reexamination of the American dream from the inside out, through the voice of Jerry Battle, a suburban middle-aged man who has lived his entire life on Long Island, New York." "Battle's favorite diversion is to fly his small plane solo; slipping away for quick flights over the Island or to the coastal towns of New England, Jerry has been disappearing for years. Then a family crisis occurs, and Jerry finds he must face his disengagement in his relationships: with his deceased wife, the circumstances of whose death he has never fully accepted; with his former girlfriend, whom he still longs for; with his daughter, who refuses to address the disease that threatens her life; with his son, who is in danger of losing the family business; and with his father, whom he has placed in a nursing home."--BOOK JACKET.
Two editions of this book were published by Audible.com.
An edition of this book was published by HighBridge.
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