Matthew Thomas ’93 to Present His Debut Novel We Are Not Ourselves at Regis

Watch Now: In his acclaimed debut novel, We Are Not Ourselves, Matthew Thomas shares his deeply personal experience of his father's battle with Alzheimer's disease.

Matthew Thomas ’93 will return to Regis on February 25 to present his New York Times best-selling novel We Are Not Ourselves [Note: the original event date,January 27, was postponed due to inclement weather]. Thomas will discuss his book and answer audience questions. A book signing follows the discussion. The $15 event registration is open to everyone, and includes a post-event reception.

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We Are Not Ourselves tells the powerfully moving story of an Irish-American family. Born in 1941, Eileen Tumulty is raised by her Irish immigrant parents in Woodside, Queens, in an apartment where the mood swings between heartbreak and hilarity, depending on whether guests are over and how much alcohol has been consumed. When Eileen meets Ed Leary, a scientist whose bearing is nothing like those of the men she grew up with, she thinks she’s found the perfect partner to deliver her to the cosmopolitan world she longs to inhabit. They marry, and Eileen quickly discovers Ed doesn’t aspire to the same, ever bigger, stakes in the American Dream. Eileen encourages her husband to want more: a better job, better friends, a better house, but as years pass it becomes clear that his growing reluctance is part of a deeper psychological shift. An inescapable darkness enters their lives, and Eileen and Ed and their son Connell try desperately to hold together a semblance of the reality they have known, and to preserve, against long odds, an idea they have cherished of the future.

Through the Learys, Thomas charts the story of the American Century, particularly the promise of domestic bliss and economic prosperity that captured hearts and minds after WWII. The result is a riveting and affecting work of art; one that reminds us that life is more than a tally of victories and defeats, that we live to love and be loved, and that we should tell each other so before the moment slips away.

We Are Not Ourselves was shortlisted for the Flaherty-Dunnan First Novel Prize and longlisted for both the Guardian First Book Award and the Folio Prize. It was named a notable book of the year by The New York Times, one of the fifty best fiction books of the year by The Washington Post, one of the ten best fiction books of the year by Entertainment Weekly, one of the five most important books of the year by Esquire, one of the best new books of the year by Barnes & Noble, and one of Janet Maslin's ten favorite books of the year in The New York Times.

Thomas, who was born in the Bronx and grew up in Queens, is a graduate of the University of Chicago, and has an MA from the Writing Seminars at Johns Hopkins University and an MFA from the University of California, Irvine, where he received the Graduate Essay Award.

Founded in 1914 by an anonymous benefactor and supported by the generosity of her family, its alumni and friends, Regis High School offers tuition-free Jesuit college preparatory education to Roman Catholic young men from the New York metropolitan area who demonstrate superior intellectual and leadership potential. In the admissions process, special consideration is given to those who cannot otherwise afford a Catholic education. Regis is the only all-scholarship Catholic secondary school in the country.

Posted: 1/16/15