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SECOND HAND by Michael Zadoorian


by Michael Zadoorian

Pub Date: March 1st, 2000
ISBN: 0-393-04797-0
Publisher: Norton

Second Hand ($22.95; Mar.; 224 pp.; 0-393-04797-0): Some people want to remain children their entire lives, but this

becomes difficult once your parents die. Richard is one such baby, a thirtysomething proprietor of a junk shop on the rundown edge of a town that borders the rundown edge of Detroit. After his mother dies, Richard sees to the wake, the funeral, and the burial—then goes through Mom’s house to see how much junk he can salvage. Naturally, while rooting through the basement, he discovers things he would never have imagined about either of his parents, which leads to several days of tears, which leads in an unexpected way to a meeting with Theresa, a Detroit grunge goddess who overcomes Richard’s immune system like a new strain of influenza. Lose a mother, gain a wife: Is this what they call the transmigration of souls? Or is it just a case of growing up? Richard is hopeful but realistic: "Junk has taught me that all will come to junk eventually, and much sooner than you think." Witty, charming, and genuinely moving: first-timer Zadoorian strikes just the right tone throughout—somewhere between

cynicism and self-mockery.