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When I was sixteen, my father went to the moon.
When Michael was sixteen his father left home. He wasn't the first to go. One by one other men in the blue-collar neighbourhood outside Detroit where Michael lives vanish. One props open the door to his shoe store and leaves a note. 'I'm going to the moon,' it reads, 'I took all the cash'.
The wives are left behind, and with few jobs and fewer opportunities they drink, brawl, sleep around, and gradually make new lives knowing their husbands are never coming back. Michael and his friends grow up. They try to get an education, start their first jobs, fall in love and begin to build families of their own. Until one night the restlessness of their fathers blooms in them, threatening to carry them away.
This is a haunting, unforgettable debut novel of fathers and sons, and of growing up the hard way. Shot through with magic and brimming with humanity, it is a novel for anyone who has even been left longing.
Dean Bakopoulos is a former bookseller, and has published fiction is Zoetrope and other journals. In 2004 he was named one of America's best new novel writers by Virginia Quarterly. He lives in Wisconsin.