188-page paperback / 5.5" x 8.5" / ISBN 9781589881730 / Publication Date: 3/21/2023
For fans of Richard Russo and Stewart O’Nan comes a frank and funny debut novel about the workaday world of an unassuming carpet installer
Frank “Ace” Renzetti has been installing carpet for over forty years, working the upscale neighborhoods of Philadelphia’s Main Line. At a time when he should be considering retirement, Frank takes on one of the biggest—and strangest—jobs of his career. The house is owned by a volatile and eccentric divorcee, its rooms teeming with weary contractors, many of whom have been on the job for months. A pampered dog regularly sabotages everyone’s work, and the general contractor patrols the site as if it’s the border.
Amid this week-long circus, Frank’s body starts to fail him, and when he loses both his helpers to a drug bust, he is left to complete the job by himself on one good leg. Desperate, he poaches a day-laborer from his competitor and finds that the young, paperless El Salvadoran has a way with carpet and just might be the future of the trade. As the physical challenges of the job mount, the fate of Frank’s business, and, with that, the fate of his blue-collar genius, become increasingly uncertain.
Wry and insightful, Rug Man is a tribute to a bygone era of craftsmen whose work was the source of their greatest suffering but also their greatest pride.
PRAISE FOR RUG MAN:
Philadelphia Magazine included Rug Man on their list of "The Best Books to Read This Summer"
"It takes a skilled writer to craft an interesting and entertaining tale about carpet installation, but David Amadio has done that and a lot more in his delightful debut novel, Rug Man. Of course, the story here is not just about carpet installation, for Amadio has a larger tale to tell. In its heart, Rug Man is about discipline, sacrifice, humility, dedication to craft and the possibility of unexpected grace when one’s world seems to be – um, well –unraveling.”
—Italian American Herald
“A thousand suburban nightmares converge in David Amadio’s perfectly measured debut. But Frank Renzetti can handle it. Frank is more than the forgotten man—he is the forgotten manner of man. It’s a great pleasure to meet him again.”
—Nathaniel Popkin, author of The Year of the Return
Listen to a WHYY interview with the author and his father, the inspiration for the main character in Rug Man.
Read Curtis Smith's interview of David Amadio for JMWW.
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David Amadio teaches Creative Writing and Composition at Lincoln University, America’s first degree-granting HBCU. His work has appeared in Cleaver, Packingtown Review, Adaptation, Talking River, Nerve Cowboy, and the San Francisco Examiner. He belongs to a three-man comedy troupe called the Minor Prophets, which has written, directed, and produced over thirty award-winning short films. David lives in suburban Philadelphia with his wife and two children. Rug Man is his first novel.