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Sixtyeightyearold Hattie Kong, descendant of Confucius, daughter of an American missionary, has lived to see both her husband and her best friend die backtoback in a single year: It was like having twinsShe got to book the same church with the same pianist for both funerals and did think she should have gotten some sort of twofer from the crematorium. But two years later, its time for Hattie to start over. She moves to a small New England town where she is soon joined by a Cambodian American family and an exlovernow a retired neuroscientistall of them looking for their own new lives. What Hattie makes of this situation and of the changing town of Riverlakechallenged as it is, in 2001, by fundamentalist Christians, struggling family farms, and unexpected immigrantslies at the center of a novel that asks deep and absorbing questions about religion, home, and what worlds we make of the world. Moving, humorous, and broadranging, World and Town is rich in character and brilliantly evocative of its time and place. This is a masterful novel from one of our most admired writers.