Jeffrey Lewis discusses and signs Bealport: A Novel of a Town
Bealport, Maine, is one of the forgotten towns of America, a place that all too often seems to have its best days behind it. And perhaps nothing symbolizes that more than the old shoe factory--"NORUMBEGA Makers of Fine Footwear Since 1903"--that lately has been perpetually on the brink of failure, and is now up for sale. But maybe there's hope? A private equity savant with a fondness for the factory's shoes buys it--and thus sets in motion a story with profound implications for the town, and for the larger question of how we live today. The factory is a hobby for him, but it represents infinitely more for the residents of Bealport: not only their livelihoods but their self-respect, their connectedness, their sense of self-sufficiency are all bound up in it. Can this high-flying outsider understand that? How will he negotiate the complicated long-term relationships that define the town and its families?
In Bealport, Jeffrey Lewis takes us inside the town, revealing its secrets, acknowledging its problems, and honoring its ambitions. Brilliantly deploying a large cast from all walks of life, he reveals small town America in the early twenty-first century through the interwoven secrets and desires of its residents, and through them delivers a striking portrait of America at a moment of national uncertainty. (Haus Pub.)