How Do Good People Handle Terrible Luck?
David and Kate are happily married fiftysomethings when she’s diagnosed with early Alzheimer’s. He has never been unfaithful, but after several years of losing Kate more each day, he wonders: What is a married widower supposed to do?
Two strong-willed women intervene and everyone finds themselves making unexpected choices.
Can any marriage withstand the transformation of one partner into someone who is lost? When does a marriage end? The Half-Life of Everything, realistic in every detail except for one speculative twist, places David in the unwelcome situation of loving two women. Must he be the good and faithful husband he’s always been, or is he deserving of a second chance? the novel is a modern study of marriage and love — and of friendship, the overlooked foundation of both romantic and everyday life.
Published by Bancroft Press, one of the top-ten indie book publishers in the U.S., for 27 years.
The short fiction of Deborah Carol Gang has been published in Literarymama, Bluestem Journal and The Driftless Review.
Her poetry has appeared in JJournal/CUNY, New Verse News, The Michigan Poet, Arsenic Lobster, and The Liberal Media Made Me Do It.
Her research as a clinical psychologist has been published in Education and Treatment of Children.
Originally from Washington, D.C., she moved to St. Paul to attend Macalester College and then to graduate school in Kalamazoo, Michigan (Western Michigan University), where she remained for her work as a psychotherapist and because of her love of the Great Lake one hour to the West.
Still living in Kalamazoo, she has a Midwestern accent and now writes full-time. The Half-Life of Everything is her first novel.
Events & Readings
Thursday, May 2nd, 2019
7:00 to 8:00 p.m.
Common Good Books
38 Snelling Ave. S
St. Paul. MN 55105
Good People, Bad Luck
Join us for an evening with fiction writers, Andy Mozina (Contrary Motion, Quality Snacks), Bonnie Jo Campbell (Once Upon A River, American Salvage), Deborah Carol Gang (The Half-Life of Everything), and Kalamazoo College poet Oliver Baez Bendorf (The Advantage of Being Evergreen, in press, The Spectral Wilderness) as they read from new work that considers the collision of bad luck and human nature.
Thursday, April 25th at 7 p.m. Van Deusen Room Central Library
315 S Rose St
Kalamazoo MI 49007
Tuesday, March 19, 2019
2:00 to 3:00 p.m.
Sanibel Public Library
770 Dunlop Road
Thursday, October 11, 2018
4736 N Lincoln Ave
Chicago, IL 60625
Thursday, September 13, 2018
6:30 to 7:30 pm
3019 Oakland Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49008
Something for every book lover: storytelling celebration, book club options, sneak peek at new books
Psychotherapist Deborah Carol Gang, a Macalester College graduate, is hearing good things about her novel “The Half-Life of Everything.” Booklist called her story of a man in love with two women “(a)…probing and emotional novel about loss, recovery, and renewal.
The Michigan Bestseller List for August 2018 lists books about Michigan topics, written by Michigan authors, and/or published by Michigan publishers.
To help you keep track of the fall/winter “buzzy” books from Minnesotans, we’ve compiled a list for you to clip and save or share with your book club. Adjust your glasses — it’s going to be a long winter of great reading.
A deftly crafted novel by an author with a genuine flair for originality and narrative driven storytelling.The Half-Life of Everything is a thoroughly absorbing and thought-provoking read from beginning to end.
— Midwest Book Review
“Gang’s probing and emotional novel about loss, recovery, and renewal follows a messily imperfect family through some of the most difficult and rewarding years of their lives. Her grounded prose echoes the weight of the family’s hardest decisions, with a style reminiscent of Anne Tyler. Full of life and love, Gang’s debut novel is heartwarming and genuine.”
“A timely, compelling, beautifully written story of love divided, multiplied, but never defeated. I rooted for every one of Deborah Carol Gang’s memorable characters.”
— Elinor Lipman, bestselling author of numerous novels, including On Turpentine Lane, The View from Penthouse B, and The Inn at Lake Devine
“Oh the humanity! Deborah Carol Gang’s crisp debut novel shows how, with a little luck, decent people making smart, careful choices can nonetheless careen into troubled new landscapes. Enjoy the ride and the charming company as this what-if story banks and swerves and carries you safely home.”
— Bonnie Jo Campbell, author of American Salvage, A National Book Award finalist, and Winner of the 2019 Mark Twain Award for Distinguished Contributions to Midwestern Literature
“Has a novel ever burned so brightly with decency, common sense, and love in the face of fate’s cruel medical tricks as The Half-Life of Everything? I don’t think so. This is a one-of-a-kind book, full of grace, humor, and winning characters. The meanings of marriage, fidelity, and love itself are up for grabs, and Deborah Carol Gang’s clear and vivid prose juggles them artfully. A remarkable debut.”
— Andy Mozina, a finalist for the Flannery O’Connor Prize, and author of Contrary Motion (Booklist starred review
“I loved this book. The characterization is effortless, the writing full of some truly remarkable and beautiful images, and the plot intriguing and well-paced without slipping into melodrama. In short, practically a perfect novel!”
— Audrey Marek, Cornell University
Deborah Carol Gang’s The Half-Life of Everything centers on David and Kate, a married couple easing contentedly toward middle age. They have two adult sons and decades of shared memories. Then Kate begins to experience early-onset Alzheimer’s disease. The illness gradually robs her of her memories, along with her independence and her identity.As the novel begins, Kate has moved into an assisted living facility; her condition seems to be on a progressive decline. David has been caring for his wife for several years. Aside from some experimental treatments, Kate’s doctors can’t sincerely offer much hope.Venturing into uneasy yet truthful territory, The Half-Life of Everything explores David’s perspective and the frustrated sadness of his current situation. Only in his late fifties, he misses the physical and mental intimacy of his marriage. Kate politely acknowledges his visits but offers little actual connection. He questions his fidelity and integrity, yet he still feels like he is in limbo—not divorced or widowed and free to pursue other relationships, but yearning for more than the shadowy void of Kate’s absence.Though David does find Jane, an understanding new romantic partner, the story develops with quiet finesse beyond their involvement. Kate’s trial medication begins to show remarkable results, and she finds herself returning to a life she once knew quite well, although both she and that life have changed.Through its shifting narrative and quirky, engaging characters, The Half-Life of Everything balances humor, candor, melancholy, and warmth. While Kate’s Alzheimer’s battle is integral to the plot, it is her recovery from the condition and her cautiously determined reentry into being herself that create the curious future no one expected her to have.
— Meg Nola (Foreword Review, September/October 2018)