The Washington Story

Adam Langer, Author . Riverhead $24.95 (416p) ISBN 978-1-57322-324-9

Langer's dense, sprawling follow up to Crossing California features the same ambitious clutch of high-schoolers on the cusp of Harold Washington's bid for Chicago mayor in 1982. In the Orthodox Jewish neighborhood of West Rogers Park, junior Jill Wasserstrom works as a cub reporter for the Lane Leader and entertains a crush on irreverent senior editor Wes Sullivan; Jill's usual boyfriend, Muley Wills, is in Cape Canaveral working on the space shuttle Columbia and bedding his seductive lab partner. Jill's sister, Michelle, pops in from New York to snag the lead role in Mel Coleman's film Godfathers of Soul , and embarks on a hot affair with the director, who's black, 20 years her senior and dating Muley's mother. Wes is exposed for fabricating his stories on race, and Jill heads off to Vassar, where she becomes involved with the local Miscellany News and rekindles contact with her grandmother. An eloquent final chapter, "Kaddish," takes place at the time of the Challenger liftoff and the passing of Halley's Comet, when Muley's producer father is gunned down in his studio. Though overflowing with plot lines and detail, Langer's latest is another fine portrait of an era, a city and its very human inhabitants. Agent, Marly Rusoff. (Aug.)

Reviewed on: 07/11/2005
Release date: 09/01/2005
Genre: Fiction
Paperback - 491 pages - 978-1-59448-218-2
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