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Good Kids: A Novel

The critically acclaimed author of American Nerd makes his fiction debut with this romantic tragicomedy about a teenage boy and girl who discover his dad is having an affair with her mom. For readers of Chad Harbach and Jennifer Egan, and fans of filmmakers like Noah Baumbach.At fifteen, Josh Paquette and Khadijah Silverglate-Dunn catch Josh's father and Khadijah's mother kissing in a natural foods store. They make a pact never to cheat on anyone, ever. They have no problem keeping the vow--until they meet again at twenty-eight, both struggling with career and identity, and both engaged to other people. Part inter-ethnic romance, part intergenerational conflict, Good Kids is a hilarious, sad, handsomely plotted story of love and class in the era of the redefined household. Stylistically adventurous but always accessible, Nugent trains a keen ear on the vernaculars of Generation Y and the baby boomers, as young and middle-aged alike try to decide what parenting, background, and loyalty mean in late twentieth and early twenty-first century America.
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About the Author

Benjamin Nugent's nonfiction has appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time, and n+1, and his fiction has appeared in Tin House. He holds an MFA in fiction from the Iowa Writers' Workshop, where he was an Iowa Arts fellow. Director of Creative Writing at Southern New Hampshire University, he teaches fiction and nonfiction in its MFA and undergraduate programs. He grew up in Amherst, Massachusetts.


"Benjamin Nugent's "Good Kids" is a literary romantic comedy, a post-sentimental sentimental education, and a cautionary tale for both divorced parents and their kids who vow never to be like them. It is terrifically smart and funny--and catchy, like a hit song. Reader, pace yourself." --Michelle Huneven, author of "Blame" ""Good Kids" is the work of a writer with a great gift for comic timing. There's so much life and love in this book, all its failure, all its accidental glory. A superb first novel, as funny as it is ultimately moving." --Peter Orner, author of "Love and Shame and Love" "This dazzling first novel is many things at once: an incisive examination of class and politics, a richly comic portrayal of humiliation and self-loathing, and a guided tour of love in its varied forms. Benjamin Nugent's writing is alive with intelligence, authenticity, and angst. Fans of Jonathan Franzen, you just may have found your new favorite writer." --Curtis Sittenfeld, author of "Prep" and "American Wife"

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