By Anthony D’Aries
Page count: 272
Pub Date: July 2012
Category: American Culture & Society
To order a signed jacketed hardcover: visit the author’s website: anthonydaries.com
Paperbacks can be ordered at your favorite local bookstore.
Paperbacks are also available online via Amazon or Barnes & Noble.
Ebooks available here or at your favorite e-bookstore.
ForeWord Magazine Book of the Year Finalist
Silver Independent Publisher Book Award Winner
“Hold the phone, kick down the door, and yell from the rooftops of all those American blue-collar towns that give birth to so many of our artists: a new one is among us, and his name is Anthony D’Aries. This man writes like Charlie Parker played the alto sax, with grit and verve and a willing free-fall into hard-won, illuminated truths.The Language of Men is a profoundly important book by a major new talent!”
—Andre Dubus III, Townie: A Memoir
Taxi Driver and Raging Bull with his dad and older brother. Soaked up his father’s lurid wartime tales – the hooch and the hos in ‘Nam.in a working class town on Long Island, Anthony D’Aries watched his father rebuild muscle cars, groove to rock ‘n’ roll, slice meat at the local deli, and bring roadkill back to life in his taxidermy workshop. Anthony, the impressionable younger son, loved his father. Emulated him. Acted out visceral scenes from
The Language of Men begins with Anthony’s search to learn who his father was. When he travels to Vietnam with his wife, Vanessa, who has a job leading health and anatomy classes for sex workers in Ho Chi Minh City, Anthony isn’t sure what he will find. Visiting Long Binh where his father was stationed, then seeing his relationship with Vanessa begin to deteriorate, Anthony arrives at realizations that begin to explain his father’s life, as well as his own troubling behaviors. Reluctant to deny or admit complicity, Anthony returns home to look for answers in his past.
What does it cost to speak the language of men? In prose that sings—sometimes defiantly, sometimes sadly, but always eloquently—Anthony D’Aries transports us to the crossroads of gender and history, then leads us through the unsettling terrain that creates fathers, sons, brothers, and husbands.
received the 2010 PEN/New England Discovery Award in Nonfiction. He is a graduate of the Stonecoast MFA program and currently teaches literacy and creative writing in correctional facilities in Massachusetts.
“The Language of Men isn’t just a beautifully written memoir about a Vietnam vet father and the complicated legacy he leaves to his son; it’s also a disturbing, brutally honest, darkly funny meditation on masculinity, violence, and sexuality. Anthony D’Aries is a writer to watch.”
— Tom Perrotta, The Leftovers
“This book is an impressive debut for a young writer. Mr. D’Aries has many admirable traits, including a distinctive style. It is a pleasure to keep company with him in these moving and insightful pages.”
— Tracy Kidder, Strength in What Remains
“Anthony D’Aries has allowed his Vietnam War veteran father to speak to us without filters. This is a brave and candid journey into a post-war American father-son relationship and into the unsentimental, dynamic complexities of Vietnam’s own post-war realities. The Language of Men made me think, pause, and re-think about masculinities in wars and post-wars.”
— Cynthia Enloe, Nimo’s War, Emma’s War: Making Feminist Sense of the Iraq War
“In The Language of Men, Anthony D’Aries tells a father and son story so honest and clear that it illuminates the lives of all of us, men and women alike. As he explores his own patrimony in nuanced and supple prose, he comes to understand the distorted, self-defeating version of masculinity he’s been bequeathed. Disassembling inherited ideas about women and war and sex and death, the way he disassembled household appliances as a boy, D’Aries enacts a painstaking inquiry into the nature of love, friendship, conflict, marriage, and family. Here is a writer who is nobody’s fool, who is without a shred of cynicism, and who means every word. The Language of Men is a work of great beauty and power.”
— Richard Hoffman, Half the House
In the Media:
Video: Randolph College Visiting Writer Series
(The Language of Men; 6/2012) reads an early draft of his memoir at Randolph College.