The Lonely Polygamist (Paperback)

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Staff Reviews

4 wives, 28 kids. Deeply captivating and insightful, Brady Udall weaves the story of a family that is clearly stretched beyond its means. Told from the perspectives of Golden Richards, the father, Trish, his youngest and most beautiful fourth wife and Rusty, Golden's troubled son, as they struggle with grief, loneliness and isolation in spite of the enormous size of their family. Surprisingly funny and compassionate, this book will stay with you long after you read the last page.

— Shannon, Chicago

May 2010 Indie Next List

“The Lonely Polygamist is the story of 45-year-old Golden Richards, a hapless soul, whose four wives, 28 children, and one paramour run his life. By turns laugh-out-loud funny and hauntingly sad, this novel is a big, fat, satisfying read that will make you reconsider what it means to be part of a family. Plus, it contains the naughtiest, goofiest 11-year-old boy who will ever break your heart.”
— Roberta Dyer, Broadway Books, Portland, OR


Golden Richards, husband to four wives, father to twenty-eight children, is having the mother of all midlife crises. His construction business is failing, his family has grown into an overpopulated mini-dukedom beset with insurrection and rivalry, and he is done in with grief: due to the accidental death of a daughter and the stillbirth of a son, he has come to doubt the capacity of his own heart. Brady Udall, one of our finest American fiction writers, tells a tragicomic story of a deeply faithful man who, crippled by grief and the demands of work and family, becomes entangled in an affair that threatens to destroy his family's future. Like John Irving and Richard Yates, Udall creates characters that engage us to the fullest as they grapple with the nature of need, love, and belonging.

Beautifully written, keenly observed, and ultimately redemptive, The Lonely Polygamist is an unforgettable story of an American family--with its inevitable dysfunctionality, heartbreak, and comedy--pushed to its outer limits.

Product Details
ISBN: 9780393339710
ISBN-10: 0393339718
Publisher: W. W. Norton & Company
Publication Date: April 29th, 2011
Pages: 602
Language: English