All This Could Be Yours

All This Could Be Yours

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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, Victor, 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 tight-lipped 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 drugstores around New Orleans and bursting into crying fits. Dysfunction is at its peak. As family members grapple 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 entangle 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.

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  • Format: Paperback

  • ISBN-13/EAN: 9780358361336

  • ISBN-10: 0358361338

  • Pages: 320

  • Price: $15.99

  • Publication Date: 09/15/2020

  • Carton Quantity: 24

Jami Attenberg

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.
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  • reviews

    Named a most-anticipated title in BuzzFeed * BookRiot * LitHub * The Millions * The Week * Good Housekeeping* Kirkus Reviews 


    Named a best fall book in Time * People * Entertainment Weekly * Salon *  BBC * BuzzFeed *Refinery29 * Vogue * Vulture * Bustle * Cosmopolitan * New York Post * Nylon * Bust * Hello Giggles * USA Today * Observer * PopSugar * Newsday * Woman’s Day * St. Louis Post-Dispatch * Inside Hook * She Knows 


    “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 


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



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



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



    “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 touches 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 bestseller. 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.” 



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



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



    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.” 



    “A richly drawn pleasure.” 



    “[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.” 



    “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 spins secrets and resentments in its portrait of a strong-willed lawyer who returns home to contend with the legacy of her abusive, dying father.” 

    Entertainment Weekly 


    All This Could Be Yours . . . is glorious. It’s dark, sexy, mordant, and the characters are deeply flawed yet relatable in that ‘drag me’ way. It’s set in New Orleans, and while Jami’s writing is sparkling and lucid, the muggy heat of the backdrop lends an air of sultry wooziness that evokes day drinking and other amazing decisions. This book captures the intolerable loneliness and occasional futility of loving your family. All This Could Be Yours makes you want to call your mom, get salty when she doesn’t pick up, and then let her call go to voicemail when she rings you back." 

    — Mary H. K. Choi, Bustle 


    “We would read anything that Jami Attenberg writes. Anything. All This Could Be Yours is the best family drama you’ll read all year—and Attenberg’s best novel yet.” 

    Hello Giggles 


    “A deep dive into the darker side of family bonds, All This Could Be Yours is another compulsively readable novel by Jami Attenberg. In what feels like a rebuke to late capitalism, Attenberg refuses to find charm or redemption in the ugliness of greed. Her first book set in New Orleans, the novel casts a stark contrast between this family of outsiders and the native residents whose lives intersect with the Tuchmans. This is a parable for our times.” 



    “Contemporary family sagas don’t get much better than this novel, which should appeal to fans of Jonathan Franzen’s The Corrections or Jennifer Egan’s Manhattan Beach.” 

    Library Journal, starred review 


    “Novelist Jami Attenberg writes fascinating, complicated characters, and All This Could Be Yours connects a villainous old man on his deathbed with others you’ll instantly care about. Despite the short time span, this story covers a lot of ground . . . A rich account of what folks have done, remembered, and regretted. Attenberg’s wr...

  • 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. 



Available Resources

Related Categories

  • Format: Paperback

  • ISBN-13/EAN: 9780358361336

  • ISBN-10: 0358361338

  • Pages: 320

  • Price: $15.99

  • Publication Date: 09/15/2020

  • Carton Quantity: 24

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