By Tadzio Koelb
In 1946, in the hardscrabble industrial city of Trenton, New Jersey, a woman kills her army veteran husband in a domestic brawl--and then assumes his identity. As Abe Kunstler, he secures a factory job, buys a car, and successfully woos a young woman with whom he makes a home. But for Abe, this is not enough: to complete his transformation, he needs a son. Fast-forward to 1971, and the certainties of midcentury triumphalism are a distant, bitter memory, Trenton's heyday as a factory town is long past, and the family life Abe has so carefully constructed is crumbling under the intolerable pressures of his long ruse. Written in brilliantly stylized prose, Trenton Makes is the indelibly told story of a woman determined to carve out her share of the American Dream.