Beautiful Somewhere Else by Stephen Policoff
A Novel

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Ever since he was an aspiring teen magician, thirty-eight-year-old Paul Brickner has been obsessed with the enigmatic Sung Soo. Known as the “Wondrous Chinese Wizard,” Sung Soo was a famous con artist who taught Houdini many of his famous illusions. Paul has long since abandoned his magician aspirations but not his Sung Soo Project, which has taken many different forms over the years. Paul has been performing his own personal vanishing act for much of his adult life, trying to escape his own anxieties, responsibilities, fears, commitments, and the guilt he feels about the tragic ending of his second marriage. But things have been a little different since he met Nadia, nearly twenty years his junior and a gentle and lovely foil to Paul’s profound negativity. Shortly after arriving on Cape Cod for vacation, Paul and Nadia are joined by two old friends and one troubled ex-boyfriend. When a hurricane makes landfall and knocks out the electricity, everyone drinks a little too much, and things start getting very strange, and somehow serve to bring Paul and Nadia closer together. Funny, moving, and compellingly supernatural, award-winning writer Stephen Policoff's Beautiful Somewhere Else is a mesmerizing debut novel.

About Stephen Policoff

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Stephen Policoff won the 2000 James Jones First Novel Fellowship for Beautiful Somewhere Else. He has taught writing at Wesleyan University and Yale and is currently Master Teacher of Writing at New York University. He lives in Manhattan with his wife and two daughters.
Published March 29, 2004 by Carroll & Graf. 256 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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(Sung Soo also may have witnessed the same "lights" and "Others" as did Fred, Paul and Tommy.) Policoff sets up an unsubtle parallel between Sung Soo and Paul's vanishing acts, and both characters' stories come to abrupt, rather bewildering endings.

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