RICHARD KRAMER / These Things Happen
Richard Kramer is the Emmy and multiple Peabody award-winning writer, director and producer of numerous TV series, including Thirtysomething, My So-Called Life, Tales of the City, and Once and Again. His charming debut novel, These Things Happen, told in an ensemble of voices, reminds us that sometimes we’re capable of more than we realize, capable of greater love, greater insight, greater honesty – and even a redeeming forgiveness.
These Things Happen, a not-quite-coming-of-age story about a modern family, introduces a bright tenth-grader with a bright future. We’ve all met someone like Wesley – the earnest, sweet kid with a formidable intelligence who is nonetheless still a bit awkward. Wesley’s quickly gaining confidence though, as is his lifelong friend Theo. And then Theo surprises everyone, including Wesley, by outing himself at school…and Theo has some general questions about his future, and he wants Wesley to ask his dad, a prominent gay activist and lawyer. Who will actually listen – Wesley’s dad? Mother, or her husband? Or dad’s partner George?
“Like its two main characters it so unforgettably etches, [this] novel exemplifies the virtues of both youth and maturity: it manages to be both wise and wide-eyed, sage and sensitive, deeply funny and, in the end, disarmingly touching…”
– Daniel Mendelsohn
“Artful, thoughtful and extremely funny, this is a wonderful first novel about artifice and the discovery of true feeling, about the roles we play and what we choose to make of them.” – Cathleen Schine