Everyday People (novel)

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Everyday People
Author Stewart O'Nan
Country United States
Language English
Genre Novel
Publisher Grove Press
Publication date
Media type Print (hardback)
Pages 295
ISBN 0-8021-1681-7
OCLC 45100246

Everyday People is a novel by the American writer Stewart O'Nan.

It is set in 1998 in East Liberty and brings together the stories of its residents, mostly African-American during one fateful week in the early fall. The novel centers around Chris "Crest" Tolbert—an eighteen-year-old left paralyzed and haunted by the loss of his best friend after a recent accident—and O'Nan weaves together the lives of friends and family, lovers and strangers, and their emotions, memories, and dreams.

"His latest novel takes a form that is increasingly popular these days: a cycle of vignettes about a group of people whose lives intersect on different occasions and on various levels. In this case, O'Nan concentrates on a black neighborhood in Pittsburgh called East Liberty and, in particular, a teenage boy named Chris who uses a wheelchair as a result of an accident in which his good friend was killed. Chris deals with the fact that "a lot of being in the chair is just waiting around" and that he is now impotent with his girlfriend, Vanessa, who is pregnant with his child. Chris' brother, Eugene, is now out of jail and into "Jesus stuff." Chris' father strays from his wife for homosexual encounters, and Chris' mother's cousin, Sister Marita, works for the phone company by day and on her own time counsels troubled people in the church basement. These are the major characters that circle through O'Nan's riveting narrative, which, like a well-composed musical piece, achieves a unity of effect in its depiction of a neighborhood and the everyday people who live there".
Brad Hooper[1]


  1. ^ "Everyday People (2001)". Booklist. 2001.