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Great Desires for Absent Things

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New Quoin | The Life of Meaning

About the author:
Rob Ryser is a prize-winning journalist for a daily newspaper in metropolitan New York and a fiction writer who is fascinated by the power of the story in American culture. An adjunct professor of English, a father of eight children and a longtime rebel, his ideas about the relationship between revival, revolution and renaissance are part of an emerging art manifesto that puts faith and beauty at the center of cultural change.

Raised in the same Chicago suburb as Ernest Hemingway, Ryser as a youth believed the best way to know himself was to travel and write about home from a distance. Twice while in college he took extended half year breaks to live in London, earning a Bachelor's Degree in International Studies. He moved to Manhattan where he undertook three years of character analysis as a bartender on the Upper East Side.

Later, newly married with a child, he accepted a staff writing position with Gannett Newspapers in the suburbs. He distinguished himself as a skillful storyteller, earning a Master's Degree in Writing. At the same time, a season of personal struggles forced him to rearrange everything he knew about life and explore it through serious fiction. His disturbing and engaging short story about an alcoholic socialite restaurateur was published in Inkwell in 2002. Later that year, he finished an ambitious manuscript that became "Great Desires for Absent Things."

Today he is a senior-level reporter whose most popular features concern the enduring themes of death and purpose. His writing is characterized by a flair that is graceful and riveting. His stories have won six major awards since the turn of the millennium.

Great Desires for Absent Things

Authored by Rob Ryser

An inspiring saga of death and rebirth...

An unforgettable portrayal of second chance survival...

A triumph of life over logic...

Five people at breaking points face change that none of them expected when the truth about a newspaper reporter's criminal past suddenly comes out. The drama opens with the fall of the hero whose idea to save everyone will only work if he conquers his fear of action. This 28-year-old journalist with one year of sobriety and a burning desire to live a new life cannot elude his past of thieving and deceiving.

Faced with an impossible mission to act on faith that he is still forming, the hero finds his footing worse than it ever was drunk. The battles that follow with his tortured mentor from AA, with the voluptuous AIDS-stricken half-sister of his wife, and with the boy who knows him only as an uncle set off existential struggles over identity and destiny.

It takes the destruction of a speeding Conrail, a daring deathbed confession, a revenge-fueled wrestling match with an Army major, a messy self-castration and the birth of a baby girl named Happy for the characters to realize that ideas without action are dead.

Publication Date:
0615338739 / 9780615338736
Page Count:
Binding Type:
US Trade Paper
Trim Size:
5" x 8"
Black and White
Related Categories:
Fiction / Literary

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