Heroic Measures (Vintage Contemporaries) (Paperback)
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The basis for the major motion picture 5 Flights Up starring Diane Keaton and Morgan Freeman.
New York City is on high alert—a gasoline truck is “stuck” in the Midtown tunnel and the driver has fled. Through panic and gridlock, Alex and Ruth must transport their beloved old dachshund—whose back legs are suddenly paralyzed—to the animal hospital, using a cutting board as a stretcher. But this is also the weekend when Alex and Ruth must sell the apartment in which they have lived for most of their adult lives. Over the course of forty-eight hours, as the mystery of the missing truck driver terrorizes the city and the dachshund’s life hangs in the balance, the bidding war over their apartment becomes a barometer for collective hope and despair. Told in shifting points of view—Alex’s, Ruth’s, and the little dog’s—Heroic Measures is a moving, deft novel about urban anxiety and the love that deepens over years.
About the Author
Jill Ciment was born in Montreal, Canada. She is the author of the novels Act of God, The Tattoo Artist, Teeth of the Dog, and The Law of Falling Bodies; a collection of stories, Small Claims; and a memoir, Half a Life. She has been awarded a National Endowment for the Arts, a NEA Japan Fellowship Prize, two New York State Fellowships for the Arts, the Janet Heidinger Kafka Prize, and a Guggenheim Fellowship. Ciment is a professor at the University of Florida. She lives in Gainesville, Florida.
“Read [it] for its painterly depictions of a rattled city, its deliciously biting satire of media and real estate madness, its tender knowledge of the creaturely ties that bind.” —O, The Oprah Magazine
“If ever there was a book I would nominate for bestseller-dom it’s Heroic Measures. It’s smart and funny and completely surprising. I’ve already bought a copy for everyone I know and I suggest you do the same. I loved every page.” —Ann Patchett
“A brave, generous, nearly perfect novel.” —Los Angeles Times
“A testament to Ciment’s lauded writing style. . . . Heroic Measures will delight.” —The Daily Beast
“It all sounds so ordinary—dogs get sick; people want to move—yet in Ms. Ciment’s delicate hands, these characters become heroic in their small ways.” —Wall Street Journal (a summer reading pick)
“A wry, gentle gem of a novel. . . . [Ciment] paints the world of Alex and Ruth in gentle, exquisite detail. Yet never does their world seem too tiny to be of interest to us. Their efforts to retain some grace as they struggle for life’s most basic desires—shelter and the safety of loved ones—are universal. . . . A lovely read.” —Christian Science Monitor
“It’s funny what books stick in one’s mind . . . with some lasting illumination the writer affords the reader. I doubt I’ll walk through the East Village again without thinking of [Heroic Measures].” —Caitlin Macy, The New York Times Book Review
“[Heroic Measures] has the faceted perfection and ardent chill of a snowflake. . . . A wonderfully shrewd and delicate book.” —The Boston Globe
“Every once in a while, someone writes a book that, on the surface, is simple and quiet, yet underneath is stirringly beautiful and full of life and love. Jill Ciment's new novel, Heroic Measures, is this kind of book. . . . When you put Heroic Measures down, you feel as if you've spent a lifetime immersed in Jill Ciment's remarkably touching and hopeful world.” —The Globe and Mail