"In the beginning we were happy. And we were always excessive. So in the beginning we were happy to excess." With these opening lines Sean Wilsey takes us on an exhilarating tour of life in the strangest, wealthiest, and most grandiose of families.
Sean's blonde-bombshell mother (one of the thinly-veiled characters in Armistead Maupin's bestselling "Tales of the City") is a 1980s society page staple. His enigmatic father uses a jet helicopter to drop Sean off at the video arcade. When Sean, "the kind of child who sings songs to sick flowers," turns nine-years old, his father divorces his mother and marries her best friend. Sean's life blows apart.
With its multiplicity of settings and kaleidoscopic mix of preoccupations-sex, Russia, jet helicopters, seismic upheaval, boarding schools, Middle Earth, skinheads, home improvement, suicide, skateboarding, massage, Christian fundamentalism, dogs, Texas, truth, evil, masturbation, hope, eventual salvation (abridged list)-"Oh the Glory of it All" is memoir as bildungsroman as explosion.
Sean Wilsey's writing has appeared in The London Review of Books, The Los Angeles Times, and McSweeney's quarterly, where he is the Editor at Large. Before coming to McSweeney's he worked as an editorial assistant at The New Yorker, a fact checker at Ladies Home Journal, a letters correspondent at Newsweek, and an apprentice gondolier in Venice, Italy. He was born in San Francisco, in 1970, and now lives in New York with his wife and his son.