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Taft: A Novel

About the Book

Taft: A Novel

A girl walked into the bar. I was hunched over, trying to open a box of Dewar's without my knife. I'd bent the blade the day before prying loose an old metal ice cube tray that had frozen solid to the side of the freezer. The box was sealed up tight with strapping tape. She waited there quietly, not asking for anything, not leaning on the bar. She held her purse with two hands and stood still.

John Nickel is a black ex-jazz musician who only wants to be a good father. But when his son is taken away from him, he's left with nothing but the Memphis bar he manages. Then he hires Fay, a young white waitress, who has a volatile brother named Carl in tow. Nickel finds himself consumed with the idea of Taft -- Fay and Carl's dead father -- and begins to reconstruct the life of a man he never met. But his sympathies for these lost souls soon take him down a twisting path into the lives of strangers ...

Taft: A Novel
by Ann Patchett

  • Publication Date: March 1, 2003
  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Perennial
  • ISBN-10: 0060540761
  • ISBN-13: 9780060540760