John Burnham Schwartz, author of Northwest Corner, on tour July/August 2011

Posted By on March 21, 2011

About Northwest Corner

Hardcover: 304 pages

Publisher: Random House (July 26, 2011)

The New York Times Book Review called Reservation Road “a triumph,” and the novel was universally acclaimed. Now, in a brilliant literary performance by one of our most compelling and compassionate writers, John Burnham Schwartz reintroduces us to Reservation Road’s unforgettable characters in a superb new work of fiction that stands magnificently on its own. Northwest Corner is a riveting story about the complex, fierce, ultimately inspiring resilience of families in the face of life’s most difficult and unexpected challenges.

Twelve years after a tragic accident and a cover-up that led to prison time, Dwight Arno, now fifty, is a man who has started over without exactly moving on. Living alone in California, haunted yet keeping his head down, Dwight manages a sporting goods store and dates a woman to whom he hasn’t revealed the truth about his past. Then an unexpected arrival throws his carefully neutralized life into turmoil and exposes all that he’s hidden.

Sam, Dwight’s estranged college-age son, has shown up without warning, fleeing a devastating incident in his own life. In its way, Sam’s sense of guilt is as crushing as his father’s. As the two men are forced to confront their similar natures and their half-buried hopes for connection, they must also search for redemption and love. In turn, they dramatically transform the lives of the women around them: the ex-wives, mothers, and lovers they have turned to in their desperate attempts to somehow rewrite, outrun, or eradicate the past.

Told in the resonant voices of everyday people gripped in the emotional riptide of lived life, Northwest Corner is at once tough and heart-lifting, an urgent, powerful story about family bonds that can never be broken and the wayward roads that lead us back to those we love.

“I was enthralled by Northwest Corner, reluctant to tear myself away even for a moment from a tale so delicately assembled, so well paced. For me Schwartz evokes Steinbeck and Updike in that magical ability to weave out of a regional story of family, a broader chronicle of America. I had the sense on every page of a writer whose abilities are at their peak, the parts of this tale interlocking just so, and yet being anything but predictable as Schwartz defines the nature of atonement, the many shades of love and the face of redemption. Truly a great American novel.”

“The masterful Northwest Corner is that finest of things—a moral novel about mortal events.”

“Families may just exist to witness each others’ disappointments, and the tribes in John Burnham Schwartz’s riveting, poetic new novel have plenty to gawk and wonder at. This is the first set of characters I’ve come across in years to compel attention not just with outside action, of which there’s plenty, but with psychological depths that reward study. It’s rife with tragedies and redemptions, a wise book without being wise-assed, and you should read it.”

About John Burnham Schwartz

John Burnham Schwartz is the author of the acclaimed novels The Commoner, Claire Marvel, Bicycle Days, and Reservation Road, which was made into a motion picture based on his screenplay.  His new novel, Northwest Corner, will be published on July 26, 2011.  His books have been translated into more than twenty languages and his writing has appeared in many publications, including The New Yorker and The New York Times. A past winner of the Lyndhurst Foundation Award for mastery in the art of fiction, Schwartz is also an accomplished screenwriter, having written films for Focus Features, Sony Pictures and Lionsgate.  He has taught at the Iowa Writers’ Workshop, Harvard University, and Sarah Lawrence College, and is currently Literary Director of the Sun Valley Writers’ Conference. He lives in Brooklyn, New York with his wife, Aleksandra Crapanzano, and their son, Garrick.

Learn more about John’s work at his website,, and on Facebook.

John Burnham Schwartz’s TLC Book Tours TOUR STOPS:

Tuesday, July 19th:  Chaotic Compendiums

Wednesday, July 20th:  Lit and Life

Thursday, July 21st:  Acting Balanced

Monday, July 25th:  Well Read Wife

Wednesday, July 27th:  Teresa’s Reading Corner

Friday, July 29th:  Book Reviews by Molly

Monday, August 1st:  Colloquium

Monday, August 1st:  Colloquium – author guest post

Wednesday, August 3rd:  Melody & Words

Friday, August 5th:  Rundpinne

Monday, August 8th:  Deb’s Book Bag

Wednesday, August 10th:  Books Like Breathing

Thursday, August 11th:  She Treads Softly

Saturday, August 13th:  Starting Fresh

Monday, August 15th:  Life in the Thumb

Wednesday, August 17th:  Girls Gone Reading


Leave a Reply

We see and read all comments, but we don't publish them. You can get ahold of us by leaving a comment or by emailing us at and