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 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.
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.