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Stone Arabia by Dana Spiotta
In Stone Arabia, Nik Kranis is in his late 40s, but he almost made it as a rock star in his youth. Now he's an alcoholic bartender who can't pay his bills, and spends his days writing music that will never be heard, as well as reviews of that music, interviews with himself, designing album covers, and concocting a fictional autobiography. His sister, Denise, has gone into debt paying Nik's bills, but she's his biggest fan. Denise lives on the edge of tragedy, always sure that it's about to happen. Her mother's dementia convinces her that she'll suffer from it too. Denise's daughter, Ada, wants to make a documentary about Nik, but Denise worries that it might upset the precarious balance of all their relationships. Dana Spiotta's novel has received positive reviews with the New York Times saying, "The same is true of this gritty, intelligent, mordant and deeply sad novel. Spiotta has created, in Stone Arabia, a work of visceral honesty and real beauty."