Greetings from Asbury Park

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What to expect

Winner of the Faulkner Society Award for Best Novel

In a small seaside city on the Jersey Shore, three half-siblings confront the death of a distant and bullying patriarch. They now have the chance to imagine new relationships and new futures, ones that would have been near-unthinkable while their father was alive.

Caught in their crossfire are the conservative religious communities that border Asbury Park, the longtime locals who have been pushed to the fringe by the shore’s revitalization, and the legendary town upon which the whole world seems to converge. Slowly, however, they come to understand that everything—their future, their happiness—depends on whether they can face themselves.

Wise, perceptive, and provocative, Greetings from Asbury Park is a remarkable literary debut in the tradition of great American novels such as Sherwood Anderson’s Winesburg, Ohio. It is a deep interrogation of place that depicts flawed characters as they break through to adulthood, truth, and to a moral relationship with the world.

Critics Review

  • “This deeply affecting portrait of a fractured family and an iconic town is also a timely story of America’s growing pains as we struggle with clashing ideas about just who ‘belongs’ and what it means to be a member of a true community. What a beautiful debut.”

    Julia Glass, author of Vigil Harbor and National Book Award–winning Three Junes
  • Greetings from Asbury Park is phenomenal…To summon the Shore—and Asbury Park, no less—in all its delirious breathtaking bull-headed complexity requires an artist of the first order and Turtel is such an artist. Greetings from Asbury Park is a novel to be cherished, a blazing summer for the heart and the mind.”

    Junot Díaz, Pulitzer Prize–winning author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
  • “It takes some audacity to name your book after a classic album, but Daniel Turtel earns the right. Greeting from Asbury  Park is a remarkable debut from a talented writer—ambitious, moving, full of complicated, thorny characters and enough Jersey Shore ambiance that you can almost smell the boardwalk.”

    Tom Perrotta, New York Times bestselling author of Election and Little Children
  • “There is no shortage of ideas in Greetings from Asbury Park…Turtel contends with the ways children are haunted by their parents in both life and death, the anxieties of legitimacy, the fragile but tight strands of connection that hold communities together, the echoing effects of emotional trauma and the impossibility of escaping from memory, the ongoing frustration of racism and homophobia’s existence into our present, and the taboos of incest.”

    Brooklyn Rail
  • “In recent years, the revitalization of Asbury Park, New Jersey, has abounded with unexpected historical resonances, class conflict, and political debates—all things that also make for memorable fiction. Daniel H. Turtel’s new novel ventures into some of these clashes, following the children of a now-deceased man who face an uncertain future.”

    Vol. 1 Brooklyn
  • “Turtel captures the smells and sounds of Asbury Park vividly, even for those who have never been near the Jersey Shore, relating the look and feel of mundane, oft-overlooked details with language that renders them anew. A sidewalk rolls out ‘like a pale gray tongue’; a row of houses lit up at night are ‘like a single wall of eyes.’ Everyone struggles here, but the depiction is sublime.”

    Booklist

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