Miracle Man by Ben Schrank
A Novel

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"Ben Schrank 's debut novel, Miracle Man is a brilliantly observed story about the desire to live in an egalitarian world. The protagonist, Martin Kelly Minter, is a white middle-class son of hippie schoolteachers who finds himself increasingly troubled by the socioeconomic inequality that he sees all around him. He also happens to be a kleptomaniac. Kelly's crusade to redistribute the world's wealth begins when he drops out of Vassar, moves into an illegal sublet in Spanish Harlem and takes a job with the Miracle Moving company, which specializes in relocating rich clients.

"The only remnants of Kelly's past that survive his ideological overhaul and self-exile from his family are his relationship with his childhood "brother," a Puerto Rican Fresh Air Fund kid named Felix, and their shared devotion to theft. As a Miracle mover, Kelly pockets small valuables and gives them to Luz, his girlfriend and fellow criminal, or buys food for the neighborhood homeless. Still, he never manages to feel "full." He finds he can't change the world or heal his own heart with petty crime. His eventual shift into large-scale art theft fails to solve this central problem.

"Schrank, who was himself a moving man as well as a teacher in Harlem, creates a protagonist who, despite his moral shortcomings, remains an affable presence. Imbued with streetwise passion, Schrank's characters expose a frustrated fringe society that simply wants to feel comfortable." (Autumn De Leon, Time Magazine, 8/9/99)


About Ben Schrank

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Ben Schrank is president and publisher of Razorbill, a Penguin imprint that is home to many award-winning and New York Times-bestselling books for children and young adults. Ben is also the author of the novels Consent and Miracle Man. He wrote "Ben's Life," a monthly column for Seventeen magazine, in the 1990s. He grew up in Brooklyn, where he lives with his wife and son.
Published May 19, 1999 by Harper Perennial. 304 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Describing Kellys deliberate steps toward criminal behavior, Schranks matter-of-fact prose is lucid and immediate, rendering each of Kellys painful or flippant thoughts resonant and consequential.

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