Benjamin and Dita Stern are seasoned New Yorkers whose life in the pre-war, Upper East Side building Benjamin’s grandfather built has settled into stasis—two children no longer at home, professional lives never fully realized. Then Benjamin's brash younger brother Spence, founder and CEO of the hearing aid company Belphonics, asks him to collaborate on a new product line inspired by the brothers' rock-and-roll youth at CBGB's—the club where, Spence believes, his hearing was permanently damaged. If the idea works, it might salvage Benjamin and Dita's tenuous financial position. Yet they both know that getting involved in Spence's schemes comes at a high price.
A funny and deeply felt debut novel from poet and memoirist Jonathan Wells, The Sterns Are Listening explores a family on the verge of both collapse and regeneration. Brimming with affection for its troubled characters and the troubled city they call home, the novel traces a courageous path to the deeply uncomfortable heart of the matter, one that just might lead to redemption.