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A novel of a down-and-out New England family that “seizes the reader on its opening page with . . . a knock-about country humor unmistakably its own” (Newsweek).
There are families like the Beans all over America. They live on the wrong side of town in mobile homes strung with Christmas lights all year round. The women are often pregnant, the men drunk and just out of jail, and the children too numerous to count. In this novel that “pulses with kinetic energy,” we meet the God-fearing Earlene Pomerleau, and experience her obsession with the whole swarming Bean tribe (Newsweek).
There is cousin Rubie, a boozer and a brawler; tall Aunt Roberta, the earth mother surrounded by countless clinging babies; and Beal, sensitive, often gentle, but doomed by the violence within him. In The Beans of Egypt, Maine, Carolyn Chute—whose jobs included waitress, chicken factory worker, and hospital floor scrubber before gaining renown as a prize-winning novelist—creates “a fictional world so vivid and compelling that one feels at a loss when it ends. The Beans belong with the Snopes clan of Faulkner’s Yoknapatawpha Country, with Erskine Caldwell’s white Southerners, and with the rural blacks of Alice Walker’s The Color Purple” (San Jose Mercury News).
Publisher: Grove Press