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Philosophy Made Simple
ARC, Softcover, 277 pages
Little, Brown & Co., 2006
A wholesale produce merchant in Chicago, Rudy Harrington has spent half his life in a rambling house, raising three daughters with his independent-minded wife. But his wife has died, his children have moved away, and Rudy is lonely and restless. In what he interprets as a moment of transcendent vision, he puts the family home up for sale and buys an avocado grove near the Rio Grande in Texas. Rudy takes up a book--Philosophy Made Simple--and begins to struggle with Plato and Aristotle, Schopenhauer and Sartre. His newly acquired wisdom is put to the test when he enlists the neighborhood elephant to preside over his daughter's Hindu wedding and falls in love with the groom's mother.
Hellenga brings back characters from his first novel, The Sixteen Pleasures, and introduces many lively new ones--including the elephant, Norma Jean, who paints; a Don Juan of a farm manager; and a surprising priest. Written with humor and grace, Philosophy Made Simple is in the end a piercing novel that illuminates our deepest concerns; love and death, marriage and family, and the mysterious tug of beauty on the human heart.
Robert Hellenga teaches at Knox College in Galesburg, Illinois, and the author of three previous novels.
This uncorrected advance reading copy is in excellent condition, without writing, marks or tears, minimal cover wear. There are no remainder marks and this is not ex-library.