Also By This Author
From Peter Nathaniel Malae, a finalist for the NYPL Young Lions Award and a New York Times notable author, comes a multigenerational novel of fierce originality and brilliance about an Italian-American family grappling with the failed promise of the American dream
Our Frail Blood
978-0-8021-2078-6 • $15.95 • Paperback • Mar. 2013
“Peter Nathaniel Malae is the real deal. He’s like a young Nelson Algren or Richard Wright, one of those writers who can hit with both hands.” Russell Banks
Our Frail Blood is a passionate, unflinching, and honest portrait of a twenty-first century family in flux. It is the story of the Felices, Italian- American immigrant parents and their first generation children, who are caught in the flushes of time and at odds with each other over political, social, and economic differences.
When the heads of the family decide to place the matriarch in hospice care, the move fractures the clan right down the middle, sending the five siblings into a deadlocked feud. Into the morass steps Murron Teinetoa, one of their bastard children, who carries an idealistic dream of setting things right and finally carving out a place for herself among her estranged relatives. Believing that blood is thicker than water, Murron attempts to move forward without being pulled back into the unresolved past.
In an interweaving narrative, Malae reveals the Felices in their formative years of the fifties; he excavates the personal lives of the siblings in their own trying times of the eighties and nineties; and he follows Murron in the present as she raises her son as a single mother in a broken home. Our Frail Blood is a brave and hopeful explication of the modern American family from a prodigiously talented writer. Malae captures the beauty and horror, the strength and fragility, the selfishness and love that make up the very threads of familial bonds.