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Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group, Spring 2019

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    9780525588689 Downloadable audio file 9781524731762 Hardback, $35.95 CAD 9781524731779 Electronic book text, Reflowable, , EPUB
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    Distributor: Random House, Inc. Availability: On Sale Date: Mar 19, 2019 Carton Quantity: 24 $22.95 CAD
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Air Traffic
A Memoir of Ambition and Manhood in America
By (author): Gregory Pardlo
9780525432210 Paperback, Trade English General Trade BIOGRAPHY & AUTOBIOGRAPHY / Literary Figures Mar 19, 2019
$22.95 CAD
Active 5.2 x 8 x 0.87 in 288 pages 8 PP OF B&W PHOTOS Vintage
From the beloved Pulitzer Prize-winning poet: an extraordinary memoir and blistering meditation on fatherhood, race, addiction, and ambition.

Gregory Pardlo’s father was a brilliant and charismatic man—a leading labor organizer who presided over a happy suburban family of four. But when he loses his job following the famous air traffic controllers’ strike of 1981, he succumbs to addiction and exhausts the family’s money on more and more ostentatious whims. In the face of this troubling model and disillusioned presence in the household, young Gregory rebels. Struggling to distinguish himself on his own terms, he hustles off to Marine Corps boot camp. He moves across the world, returning to the United States only to take a job as a manager-cum-barfly at his family’s jazz club.

Air Traffic follows Gregory as he builds a life that honors his history without allowing it to define his future. Slowly, he embraces the challenges of being a poet, a son, and a father as he enters recovery for alcoholism and tends to his family. In this memoir, written in lyrical and sparkling prose, Gregory tries to free himself from the overwhelming expectations of race and class, and from the tempting yet ruinous legacy of American masculinity.

Air Traffic is a richly realized, deeply felt ode to one man’s remarkable father, to fatherhood, and to the frustrating yet redemptive ties of family. It is also a scrupulous, searing examination of how manhood can be fashioned in our cultural landscape.

PULITZER PRIZE-WINNING POET: Pardlo’s last book of poems, Digest, won the 2015 Pulitzer Prize, and he has become a widely loved presence in the literary world. He lectures, teaches, and reads across the United States, judges several major literary prizes, and is a full-time faculty member at the MFA program at Rutgers-Camden. The paperback will also be published in time for poetry month in April.

ACCLAIM: Greg’s narrative debut expands on themes from his poetry and will be instantly recognizable to reviewers. The hardcover has won praise from The New York Times Book Review, The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time Magazine, Vogue, Vulture, Tracy K. Smith, Nick Flynn, Melissa Febos, Leslie Jamison, and more. Greg and the book were featured on Fresh Air with Terry Gross, Brian Lehrer, Here and Now, and elsewhere.

BOOKSELLER LOVE AND EVENTS: Pardlo is beloved by the book and literary community. He is traveling on a robust bicoastal tour for his hardcover launch visiting the 92nd Street Y, Powell’s Books, Politics and Prose, Free Library of Pennsylvania, Brazos, at the Franklin Park Reading Series and more. The buyer at Politics and Prose has gotten behind the book, calling it an “impressive overview of a life…by turns analytical, angry, ironic, raw, and emotional with images that jolt reflection and meditation to something closer to lived and felt experience.”

Gregory Pardlo is the author of Digest, winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. Digest was also nominated for an NAACP Image Award, named a standout book by the Academy of American Poets, a New York Times best poetry book of the year, and a finalist for the Hurston Wright Legacy Award and INDIEFAB Book of the Year. Gregory Pardlo’s other awards include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the New York Foundation for the Arts. His first poetry collection, Totem, won the American Poetry Review/Honickman First Book Prize in 2007. He is the Poetry Editor of Virginia Quarterly Review, and lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two kids.

Author Residence: Brooklyn, NY

Author Hometown: New Jersey

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One of “17 Refreshing Books to Read This Summer” —The New York Times

“A masterwork, blending personal and family history with a historicized critique on blackness and masculinity…. Manages to do what only great memoirs of this scale can: to tell a story about himself that is also about America, one that feels true.” —Vogue, “Best Books of Spring”

“The winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for poetry, Gregory Pardlo also writes damn good prose….We often talk about Great American Novels, but Air Traffic is an excellent contender in the Great American Memoir category, an honest and touching look at what it’s like to grow up black and male in this country.” —Vulture, “Best Books of Spring”

“Magnificent and deeply affecting.” —The Washington Post

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