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In <i>The Distancers</i>, seven generations worth of joy and heartache is artfully forged into a family portrait that is at once universally American yet singularly Lee Sandlin's own. From the nineteenth century German immigrants who settled on a small Midwestern farm, to the proud and upright aunts and uncles with whom Sandlin spent the summers of his youth, a whole history of quiet ambition and stoic pride--of successes, failures, and above all endurance--leaps off the page in a sweeping American family epic. Touching on The Great Depression, WWII, and the American immigrant experience, the uses of proper manners, , <i>The Distancers</i> is a beautiful and stark Midwestern drama, about a time and place long since vanished, where the author learned the value of family and the art of keeping one's distance.