All This Could Be Yours

by Jami Attenberg
$26.00
1

"Attenberg is a master at excavating the good, the bad and the ugly truths about families...her richly human characters populate a witty narrative studded with surprises."—People 

 

"Orchestrated with the precision of an opera on a revolving stage." —NPR 

  

"This is how you write a very good novel about a very bad man." —New York Times Book Review 

 

NAMED A BEST FALL BOOK BY Time * People * Entertainment Weekly * Salon *  BBC * Buzzfeed *Refinery29 * Vogue * Vulture * Bustle * Cosmopolitan * New York Post * Nylon * Bust * Hello Giggles * USA Today * The Observer * PopSugar * Newsday * Woman’s Day * St. Louis Dispatch * Inside Hook * She Knows 

 

From critically acclaimed New York Times best-selling author Jami Attenberg comes a novel of family secrets: think the drama of Big Little Lies set in the heat of a New Orleans summer


  • Format: Hardcover
  • ISBN-13/EAN: 9780544824256
  • ISBN-10: 0544824253
  • Pages: 304
  • Publication Date: 10/22/2019
  • Carton Quantity: 12

About the book

“All hail Jami Attenberg, the queen of dysfunctional families.” —Refinery29 

 

Big Little Lies meets Succession in the scorching heat of the Big Easy . . . Money, power and family are touched upon through Attenberg’s emotional, humorous and sharply written accounts.” —Parade

 

“This is how you write a very good novel about a very bad man.” —New York Times 

 

From critically acclaimed New York Times best-selling author Jami Attenberg comes a novel of family secrets: think the drama of Big Little Lies set in the heat of a New Orleans summer 

 

“If I know why they are the way they are, then maybe I can learn why I am the way I am,” says Alex Tuchman of her parents. Now that her father is on his deathbed, Alex—a strong-headed lawyer, devoted mother, and loving sister--feels she can finally unearth the secrets of who Victor is and what he did over the course of his life and career. (A power-hungry real estate developer, he is, by all accounts, a bad man.) She travels to New Orleans to be with her family, but mostly to interrogate her tightlipped mother, Barbra. 

 

As Barbra fends off Alex’s unrelenting questions, she reflects on her tumultuous life with Victor. Meanwhile Gary, Alex’s brother, is incommunicado, trying to get his movie career off the ground in Los Angeles. And Gary’s wife, Twyla, is having a nervous breakdown, buying up all the lipstick in drug stores around New Orleans and bursting into crying fits. Dysfunction is at its peak. As each family member grapples with Victor’s history, they must figure out a way to move forward—with one another, for themselves, and for the sake of their children. 

 

ALL THIS COULD BE YOURS is a timely, piercing exploration of what it means to be caught in the web of a toxic man who abused his power; it shows how those webs can tangle a family for generations and what it takes to—maybe, hopefully—break free. With her signature “sparkling prose” (Marie Claire) and incisive wit, Jami Attenberg deftly explores one of the most important subjects of our age.

About the author
Jami Attenberg

JAMI ATTENBERG is the New York Times best-selling author of seven books of fiction, including The Middlesteins and All Grown Up. She has contributed essays to the New York Times Magazine, the Wall Street Journal, the Sunday Times, and Longreads, among other publications. She lives in New Orleans.

Excerpts

He was an angry man, and he was an ugly man, and he was tall, and he was pacing. Not much space for it in the new home, just a few rooms lined up in a row, underneath a series of slow-moving ceiling fans, an array of antique clocks ticking on one wall. He made it from one end of the apartment to the other in no time at all—his speed a failure as much as it was a success—then it was back to the beginning, flipping on his heel, grinding himself against the floor, the earth, this world. 

  

The pacing came after the cigar and the Scotch. Both had been unsatisfactory. The bottle of Scotch had been sitting too close to the window for months, and the afternoon sun had destroyed it, a fact he had only now just realized, the flavor of the Scotch so bitter he had to spit it out. And he had coughed his way through his cigar, the smoke tonight tickling his throat vindictively. All the things he loved to do, smoking, drinking, walking off his frustrations, those pleasures were gone. He’d been at the casino earlier, hanging with the young bucks. Trying to keep up with them. But even then, he’d blown through that pleasure fast. A thousand bucks gone, a visit to the bathroom stall. What was the point of it? He had so little left to give him joy, or the approximation of it. Release, that was always how he had thought of it. A release from the grip of life. 

  

His wife, Barbra, sat on the couch, her posture tepid, shoulders loose, head slouched, no acknowledgment of his existence. But she glanced at him now as he paused in front of her, and then she dropped her head back down again. Her hair dyed black, chin limping slightly into her neck, but still, at sixty-eight years old, as petite and wide-eyed as ever. Once she had been the grand prize. He had won her, he thought, like a stuffed animal at a sideshow alley. She flipped through an Architectural Digest. Those days are gone, sweetheart, he thought. Those objects are unavailable to you. Their lives had become a disgrace. 

  

Now would have been an excellent time to admit he had been wrong all those years, to confess his missteps in full, to apologize for his actions. To whom? To her. To his children. To the rest of them. This would have been the precise moment to acknowledge the crimes of his life that had put them in that exact location. His flaws hovered and rotated, kaleidoscope-like, in front of his gaze, multicolored, living, breathing shards of guilt in motion. If only he could put together the bits and pieces into a larger vision, to create an understanding of his choices, how he had landed on the wrong side, perhaps always had. And always would. 

  

Instead he was angry about the taste of a bottle of Scotch, and suggested to his wife that if she kept a better home, none of this would have happened, and also would she please stop fucking around with the thermostat and leave the temperature just as he liked. And she had flipped another page, bored with his Scotch, bored with his complaints. 

  

“The guy downstairs said something again,” she said. “About this.” She motioned to his legs. The pacing, they could hear it through the floor. 

  

“I can walk in my own home,” he said. 

  

“Sure,” she said. “Maybe don’t do it so late at night, though.” 

  

He marched into their bedroom, stomping loudly, and plummeted headfirst onto their bed. Nobody loves me, he thought. Not that I care. He had believed, briefly, he could find love again, even now, as an old man, but he had been wrong. Loveless, fine, he thought. He closed his eyes and allowed himself one last series of thoughts: a beach, sand bleached an impenetrable white, a motionless blue sky, the sound of birds nearby, a thigh, his finger running along it. No one’s thigh in particular. Just whatever was available from a pool of bodies in his memory. His imaginary hand squeezed the imaginary thigh. It was meant to cause pain. He waited for his moment of arousal, but instead he began to gasp for air. His heart seized. Release me, he thought. But he couldn’t move, face-down in the pillow, a muffled noise. A freshly laundered scent. A field of lavender, the liquid cool color of the flower, interrupted by bright spasms of green. Release me. Those days are over. 

  

  

Ninety minutes later an EMS worker named Corey responded to his last call of the day. The Garden District. A heart attack, seventy-three-year-old male. 

  

 

Reviews

A Best Book of 2019 from: Vogue * Real Simple * Kirkus * Time Magazine

 

A Best Fall Book Title from: Time * People * Entertainment Weekly * Salon *  BBC * Buzzfeed * Refinery29 * Vogue * Vulture * Bustle * Cosmopolitan * New York Post * Nylon * Bust * Hello Giggles * USA Today * The Observer * PopSugar * Newsday * Woman’s Day * St. Louis Dispatch * Inside Hook * She Knows 

 

A Most Anticipated title from: Buzzfeed * BookRiot * LitHub * The Millions * The Week * Good Housekeeping* Kirkus

 

“Attenberg gets so deep into the psyches of her characters that the story ends up seeming electric with ruin, and with possible resurrection…This is how you write a very good novel about a very bad man…All This Could Be Yours is full of hope—but it is to say that the novel is most powerful when it’s in honest open battle with that which makes hope so difficult in the first place.”

New York Times 

 

“With her sixth novel, Jami Attenberg…secures her place as an oddly sparkling master of warped family sagas…All This Could Be Yours is orchestrated with the precision of an opera on a revolving stage…Full of brio.”

NPR 

 

All This Could Be Yours is an engaging portrait of the unshakable connection of family.” 

Vogue 

 

“Arguably Attenberg’s best novel to date…Attenberg’s characters compellingly offer a frank glimpse into the scourge of late capitalism and toxic masculinity in the United States…As family secrets unspool, the years of resentment and anger burn off in this tightly drawn novel.” 

The Observer 

 

"Attenberg is a master at excavating the good, the bad and the ugly truths about families, and in this short but potent novel, her richly human characters populate a witty narrative studded with surprises." 

People, Book of the Week 

 

“Complicated families are Attenberg’s speciality, and she more than delivers on that premise here.” 

Buzzfeed 

 

“Told from multiple perspectives, All This Could Be Yours illustrates the heartbreak, isolation and chaos that comes from really getting to know your family.”

Time 

 

"Attenberg is never less than wise, hilarious, and deeply real about all the fundamental topics: families, love, death, money, and knowing when you can fix something versus when you maybe can't." 

—Isaac Fitzgerald 

 

“Attenberg is...a masterful psychoanalyst...she doesn’t flinch from digging into life’s messiness, pressing gently but resolutely into wounds to see what oozes out. Attenberg’s medium, as much as the written word, is familial dysfunction. And the Tuchman family is a matryoshka stacking doll of dysfunction. [This is] an emotionally messy novel, but precise in craft. The narrative voice is complex and profound...Attenberg writes with care about even the most glancing characters – a random streetcar driver, a Pilates instructor on a hike, a stroke victim sharing Victor’s hospital ward – her narrative touching so many souls, it’s like a spirit passing through.” 

USA Today 

 

“Attenberg explores violence, corruption, infidelity and betrayal – with a satisfying set of consequences.”

—BBC 

 

“Versatile, earthbound, and unforgiving, the novelist returns to the comic blend of messy family drama that made The Middlesteins such a smart best seller. This time, the madness swirls around the (sort of) grown children of the dying Victor, a tyrannical and very shady real-estate developer.”

—Boris Kachka, Vulture 

 

“While the plot of All This Could Be Yours only takes place over a single day — albeit a very, very long day — the stories told in the novel encapsulate lifetimes.” 

Salon 

 

“Attenberg is on a roll…[the] combination of ambitious scope and economical treatment [and the] spirit of unsentimental generosity, recall the divine Grace Paley, a comparison Attenberg has inspired more than once…Like a little chili pepper in the chocolate, that particular kind of dark laughter is Attenberg’s secret ingredient.” 

Newsday 

 

“If you feed off of dysfunctional family drama that’s not your own, you’ll eat this up.” 

Cosmopolitan 

 

“All hail Jami Attenberg, the queen of dysfunctional families.” 

Refinery29 

 

Big Little Lies meets Succession in the scorching heat of the Big Easy—that’s All This Could Be Yours, the story of a power-hungry patriarch on his deathbed and a family reckoning with a secret past. Money, power and family are touched upon through Attenberg’s emotional, humorous and sharply written accounts.”

Parade 

 

“A richly drawn pleasure.”

People Magazine 

 

?All This Could Be Yours complicates the narrative of shitty men and forgiveness…By focusing on the women who Victor has harmed, Attenberg offers a fleeting world where even messy, sometimes-bad women deserve justice on their own terms…With at times painfully sharp precision and beautiful language, Attenberg complicates our understanding of and expectation of forgiveness and healing. For some, forgiveness looks like prayer and apologies; for others, it looks like never really forgiving at all; and, for others still, it looks like forgiving the self.” 

Bitch 

 

“[A] master of modern fiction…toggling back and forth through perspectives and time, Attenberg gives each character their own rich history making even tertiary ones—a Pilates instructor, a CVS clerk, a world-weary coroner—come fantastically alive, sometimes in just a single line. New Orleans, too, is its own protagonist: a place of sticky booze and Spanish moss and endless, swampy heat that also knows its own clichés, inside and out.” 

Entertainment Weekly 

 

“Nobody writes family drama quite like Jami Attenberg, and her latest novel is a dark, deliciously captivating look into the way a toxic patriarch can poison everyone around him. There are no easy resolutions offered here, but that's as it should be.” 

Nylon 

 

“A smart, funny, beautifully observed family saga.” 

Southern Living 

 

“Juicy drama…Attenberg’s characters (family members as well as outsiders via clever cameos) are deftly developed, making for a fast but satisfying read.”

Real Simple 

 

?“It wouldn’t be a Jami Attenberg novel without a difficult family at its center. The New Orleans-set All This Could Be Yours