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By turns haunting, hilarious, and heartbreaking, Charles Havertya€™s debut collection charts the journeys of men, women, and children cast out of familiar territory into emotional terra incognita where people and things are rarely what they seem. These twelve stories are populated with ex-nuns and Freedom Riders, Chaucer scholars and strippers, out-of-work comedy writers and presidents, navigating their way through bedrooms and emergency rooms, backyard burial parties and airplane crash sites, the Piazza San Marco and the post-apocalyptic suburbs of Boston. A sixteen-year-old boy unearths grisly evidence of his genteel grandfathera€™s racist past. At his sistera€™s booze-soaked destination wedding, a recovering alcoholic English professor is finagled into ghostwriting their unreliable fathera€™s nuptial toast. A small town lawyera€™s Edenic existence is jeopardized when his wifea€™s younger brother is arrested for a rash of local burglaries. In the wake of her daughtera€™s brush with disaster in the Haiti earthquake, a mother finds herself drawn down a dark neighborhood sidewalk toward what might or might not be a dead body. And in the title storya€”the first of three linked storiesa€”a pious altar boy confronts the twin mysteries of sex and death through the auspices of a classmatea€™s divorced mother. There are secrets at the center of each of these daring and original storiesa€”secrets that separate these characters from one another but grow in the mind and the heart, connecting them with all of us.I waited at the living room window in my green army coat with the brown corduroy collar, turning my fathera#39;s globe around and around until at last a black Volkswagen Beetle stopped in front of our house. Without saying good-bye to my mother, ... that the dashboard was dark. a€œFuse blew, a€ Toph said. a€œNo dash lights, no clock, anbsp;...

Author: Charles Haverty
Publisher:University of Iowa Press - 2015-10-01

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