Shackling Water by Adam Mansbach

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At the age of nineteen, saxophone prodigy Latif James-Pearson boards a bus to Manhattan to find his aging idol, the great Albert Van Horn. The centers of Latif’s universe soon become a Harlem boarding house, where he spends his days practicing intensely, and the downtown club where Van Horn's group performs and Latif hides in the shadows, listening. There, he begins a complex affair with an older white painter named Mona, and starts working for Say Brother, a charismatic drug dealer. But as Latif’s frustrations with his playing mount, and the demands of balancing artistry, hustling, and love push him toward crisis, he is forced to confront his music, his past, and himself. A virtuosic story told with lyrical intensity, Shackling Water heralds the arrival of an important new voice in American literature.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

About Adam Mansbach

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Adam Mansbach's novels include The End of the Jews, winner of the California Book Award, and the best-selling Angry Black White Boy, a San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of 2005. His fiction and essays have appeared in the New York Times Book Review, the Believer, Granta, the Los Angeles Times, and many other publications. He was the 2010-2011 New Voices Professor of Fiction at Rutgers University.His daughter, Vivien, is three. Ricardo Cortés has illustrated books about grass, electricity, the Jamaican bobsled team, and Chinese food. His work has been featured in the New York Times, Vanity Fair, Entertainment Weekly, New York magazine, the Village Voice, the San Francisco Chronicle, and on the O’Reilly Factor and CNN. He lives in Brooklyn, NY, where he is working on a book about a shark. To see more of his work, visit:
Published May 14, 2002 by Anchor. 250 pages
Genres: Literature & Fiction. Fiction

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Spoken-word artist and musician Mansbach debuts with the lyric story of a young tenor sax player exploring both the modern New York jazz scene and the experience of being a musician.

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Publishers Weekly

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The ambitious, precocious Latif idolizes Van Horn, but when the older musician finally invites him to some private jam sessions and then onstage, Latif puts so much pressure on himself that he implodes and succumbs to the lures of heroin.

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