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Seven years in the making (and written in part on Franzen's couch), David Goodwillie, Kings County is an ambitious, exuberant, and wholly unforgettable tale of two star-crossed lovers in 21st-century Brooklyn, whose lives are torn apart after their deepest secrets come to light. In the words of Stephanie Danler, in KINGS COUNTY, David Goodwillie has, "created a true urban tableau, at once gritty and hopeful. Kings County
It’s the early 2000s and like generations of intrepid young hopefuls before her, Audrey Benton arrives in New York City on a bus in the dead of winter, eager to escape her troubled past. Broke but resourceful, she soon finds a home for herself amid the burgeoning music scene in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. But the city’s freedom comes with risks, and Audrey makes dangerous compromises to survive. As she becomes a minor celebrity in indie music circles, she finds an unlikely match in Theo Gorski, a shy but idealistic mill-town kid—the first in his family to attend college—who’s struggling to establish himself in the still-patrician world of books. As artistic “Brooklyn” explodes around them, the young lovers forge a bond as unlikely as it is unbreakable. But when an old friend from Audrey’s past disappears under mysterious circumstances, it sparks a dangerous series of escalating crises that force her and Theo to confront, head on, a shocking secret that threatens not just their relationship, but their very lives. In the words of Joseph O'Neill, “Goodwillie pins his characters to the page with a lepidopterist’s merciless affection—and then, by some trick of resuscitation, lets them fly in a Brooklyn that’s a kind of darkly miraculous forest populated by charismatic and errant fauna. Kings County is a thrilling and persuasive read.”
From the raucous protests of Occupy Wall Street to the hushed halls of the publishing world, from million-dollar art auctions to late-night Bushwick drug dens, Kings County captures New York City at a heightened moment of cultural reckoning. Confronting the resonant issues and themes of our time—sex and violence, art and commerce, friendship and family—it’s a new kind of love story, both coolly classic and vividly contemporary, that dazzles with wit and moral resonance, with two unforgettable characters at its core. Richly plotted and deeply humane, Kings County is an epic coming-of-age tale about bravery, consequences, and finding one’s place in an ever-changing world.
David Goodwillie is the author of the novel American Subversive, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year, and the memoir Seemed Like a Good Idea at the Time. Goodwillie has written about books for The New York Times and The Daily Beast, and his nonfiction has appeared in New York magazine, Newsweek, Popul
Molly Jong-Fast is the author of Normal Girl, Girl [Maladjusted], and The Social Climber’s Handbook. She has written for many newspapers and magazines, including The New York Times, Harper’s Bazaar, W Magazine, Cosmo, The Times (UK), and Marie Claire. She lives in Manhattan. She is married to a recovering academic. They have three very small children, all of whom like to talk to her when she is on the phone.
A Brooklyn love story, set to music.
“Kings County crystallizes how it feels to be young and in love in New York City.” —Stephanie Danler
“A true and continual delight...Goodwillie captures the rapturous soul of a bygone Brooklyn.” —Joshua Ferris
It’s the early 2000s and like generations of ambitious young