SAINT JOHN OF THE FIVE BOROUGHS
When 22-year-old Avery Walker, a senior at Penn State, meets Grant Danko, a 37-year-old performance artist from Brooklyn whose stage name is Saint John of the Five Boroughs, her life changes radically as she leaves college to live with Grant in Brooklyn and pursue a life as an artist. Worried about Avery, her mother, Kate, and her aunt, Lindsey, and Lindsey’s husband, Hank, travel to Brooklyn, where they all face a crisis of their own and make life-altering choices.
Grant is an angry guy with a curiously attractive personality and a coterie of bright, artistic friends. He’s used his good looks and his accomplishments, and the accomplishments of those friends, to get by while he works hauling stolen goods for his gangster uncle. He carries dark secrets that have caused his life to go off the rails. Grant is about as lost as a man can get, adept at making wrong choices. But when he finally faces his explosive moment of truth, something extraordinary happens.
Saint John of the Five Boroughs is beautifully turned—a stunning and layered novel about the effects of violence, both personal and cultural, on its characters’ lives. It’s about the way violence twists character, but also about the possibilities for redemption and change, for achieving a kind of personal grace. Edward Falco once again proves to be a master of urgency and suspense, of events careening out of control, as he brilliantly explores why we make the choices we make—both the ones that threaten to destroy our lives, and those choices that might save us.
$16.95 / $19.95 Can | Fiction Paperback | 6x9 | 432 pages
ISBN: 978-1-932961-88-1 | Carton Quantity: 20
Across the street, the white door that read Bright Red Door looked back at her as if it represented a secret message she couldn’t quite interpret, God talking to her in puzzles and parables; then Grant pulled up in a yellow cab, startling her, since he rarely took cabs. He got out of the backseat, busy slipping his wallet into his pocket; at the bench, he leaned down to kiss her and then stood back a moment to look her over. “You’re gorgeous,” he said. “Where’d the dress come from?”
Avery said, “You’re late. Dinner and arriving in a cab? Have we come into money?”
Grant took her hand and pulled her up. “We have,” he said, “as a matter of fact. A work bonus.” Inside Enid’s, they stood quietly side by side near the entrance and waited to be seated. Across the room, a girl in a miniskirt crossed her legs in an ancient photo booth, the curtain pushed aside, an Out of Order sign taped next to her head. Avery looked up at the tin ceiling, at a shelf dangling from the rafters, holding a junked receiver, its wires connected to nothing; at a big curving-arrow liquor sign that had obviously once hung outdoors and now added to the flea-market atmosphere of the decor, as did the gold-sequined camel hanging on a wall with peeling paint. Grant said, “I’m hungry,” and then, as if his wish had conjured her up, a pretty girl in a granny dress appeared, led them to an open table, and dropped two menus in front of them. Grant watched the girl walk away. “I’m getting the meat loaf,” he said. “It’s good here.”
Avery held the menu to her breast, her hand over her heart as if pledging allegiance. She said, “Guess who paid me a visit at work today?” “Who?” Grant looked up from the menu. “My mother,” Avery said, her face a mix of shock and wonder.