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“One of the most acclaimed memoirs of 2012.”

The Week


Too Good to be True

A Memoir

The most affecting father-son story since Cormac McCarthy’s The Road, this astonishing memoir is a gut-wrenching account of a life at the crossroads. When he was three, Benjamin Anastas found himself in his mother’s fringe-therapy group, a sign around his neck: TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE. The phrase haunts him at forty, when everything around him lies in tatters.

Broke, his promising literary career gone, Anastas is hounded by debt collectors as he tries to repair a life ripped apart by the spectacular implosion of his marriage, which ended when his pregnant wife left him for another man. Anastas’s fierce love for his young son forces him to confront his own childhood, fraught with mental illness, divorce, and the fumes of hippiedom. Charged with rage, despair, humor, and hope, this unforgettable book gets to the core of what it means to be a father.

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“A wonderful, overlooked novel gets a new life… An Underachiever’s Diary may have been the funniest, most underappreciated book of the 1990s.”

Very Short List


An Underachiever’s Diary

A Novel

Meet William, a devout underachiever. He enters life as the firstborn of identical twin boys. It is the last time he will beat his overachieving brother Clive, or anyone else for that matter, at anything.

This is William’s manifesto for the underachiever. It is the chronicle of a lifetime of failure–-part diary and part handbook for self-defeat. At once corrosively funny and surprisingly tender, An Underachiever’s Diary is a classic tale of perverse perseverance.


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“Artful …  Through it all, one happy constant is the author’s gimlet prose.  In just his second book, Anastas shows a rare ability to empathize with his main character [and] a large but never unwieldy minor ones and nail the walk-ons in a sentence.”

The San Francisco Chronicle Book Review


The Faithful Narrative of a Pastor’s Disappearance

A Novel

A young, charismatic African-American pastor disappears from his local parish of W—, a comfortable bedroom community in suburban New England. In the backlash and impending investigation, no satirical stone is left unturned. Especially those within the Caruso household, an ordinary American family hollowed out by their world of convenience and easy moral remedies.