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“In The Dakota Winters, Barbash delivers a sweeping family saga that transports readers to the New York City of the late ’70s and early ’80s, to Central Park, The Village, the restaurant and club scenes, from The Beatles to The Flying Lizards to your average dysfunctional family living at the Dakota — the Winters. The story follows two conflicting arcs: that of fading father and late-night host Buddy Winter and that of his emerging 23-year-old son Anton. I loved Barbash’s first novel, The Last Good Time, and The Dakota Winters does not disappoint. You’ll want to savor every sentence of this powerful chronicle of the times!”
— Bill Reilly, The River's End Bookstore, Oswego, NY
An evocative and wildly absorbing novel about the Winters, a family living in New York City’s famed Dakota apartment building in the year leading up to John Lennon’s assassination
It’s the fall of 1979 in New York City when twenty-three-year-old Anton Winter, back from the Peace Corps and on the mend from a nasty bout of malaria, returns to his childhood home in the Dakota. Anton’s father, the famous late-night host Buddy Winter, is there to greet him, himself recovering from a breakdown. Before long, Anton is swept up in an effort to reignite Buddy’s stalled career, a mission that takes him from the gritty streets of New York, to the slopes of the Lake Placid Olympics, to the Hollywood Hills, to the blue waters of the Bermuda Triangle, and brings him into close quarters with the likes of Johnny Carson, Ted and Joan Kennedy, and a seagoing John Lennon.
But the more Anton finds himself enmeshed in his father’s professional and spiritual reinvention, the more he questions his own path, and fissures in the Winter family begin to threaten their close bond. By turns hilarious and poignant, The Dakota Winters is a family saga, a page-turning social novel, and a tale of a critical moment in the history of New York City and the country at large.
Tom Barbash grew up in New York and is the author of three books as well as numerous reviews, stories essays, and articles for publications including McSweeney’s, Tin House, the Believer, Narrative Magazine, One Story, StoryQuarterly, Zyzzyva, the Missouri Review, Story Magazine, Men’s Journal, ESPN the Magazine, BookForum, and the New York Times.
His short story collection Stay Up With Me (Ecco/Harper Collins) was nominated for the Folio Prize, and was picked as a Best Book of the Year by the Independent of London, NPR, Amazon.com, the San Francisco Chronicle, the San Jose Mercury News, and was a San Francisco Chronicle Bestseller and a New York Times Editor’s Choice. British GQ, British Vogue, and British Harper’s Bazaar selected it for their summer book clubs.
His novel The Last Good Chance (Picador USA), was awarded The California Book Award, was a Publishers Weekly and Anniston Star Best Book of the Year, and was short listed for the Great Lakes Book Prize and the Saroyan International Prize.
He has held fellowships from the MacDowell Colony, Yaddo, The James Michener Foundation, and the National Endowment for the Arts.