Austin Wright's thriller gets a second shot at the popularity that first eluded it in 1993

By Keith Staskiewicz
Updated August 12, 2011 at 04:00 AM EDT

When Tony and Susan, Austin Wright’s literary thriller and exercise in suburban scrutiny, first came out in 1993, no less a figure than Nobel laureate Saul Bellow dubbed it ”beautiful” and ”marvellously written.” But even with that prestigious blurbing, the book failed to catch on. Now, 18 years later, and eight years after Wright’s death, his novel is getting a second shot at the canon with a full-court reissue that’s rare in the publishing world. The idea, originated by a senior editor at Atlantic Books in the U.K., has already proved fruitful across the pond. ”I was here when we published it,” says Jamie Raab, publisher at Grand Central Publishing. ”And I reread it and I said, ‘He’s right!’ This deserves to be read, even all these years later. This doesn’t happen a lot, but this is a special book.”